Columbia student and WCRX FM radio personality Steve Traficanti, who was volunteering his time at the food drive as Santa, said the fundraiser was “a real win for everybody.”
Rather than follow in the footsteps of those leading the Holly Jolly Campaign in previous years, Matt Cunningham, the faculty advisor for WCRX, said students focused most of their efforts on a virtual food drive.
This online portal
, available on the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s website, allows donors who don’t attend the event to give from home by selecting food items and purchasing them through the depository.
The goal for this year was $500 worth of meals for the hungry, Cunningham said.
Jess Lynk, a public relations specialist for the Greater Chicago Food Depository
said it plans on having pantries set up on the campuses of all seven colleges in the city to address hunger in higher education by 2020. WTTW recently reported that there are several Chicago pantries where students can go twice week or more
to receive necessary food items. “If you’re trying to better yourself, you should have access to nutritious food,” Lynk said.
The depository is also committed to helping those who are unemployed and underemployed, but may not be pursuing a college education.
Through a free 14-week job service training program called Chicago’s Community Kitchens
, adults taking the course are able to learn through intensive hands-on cooking and internship experiences, building their resumes and preparing for a food service career.
Lynk said the program teaches its students “the knife skills, but also the life skills” and that 90 percent of people who complete the course are offered jobs in the culinary field.