Food drive benefitting Harvest Table held by Arts and Sciences

By Makenzie Huber Reporter

The colors on the leaves are changing, students are shipping their Halloween costumes to campus and the pumpkin flavors are everywhere. Now that autumn is officially here, the season of giving is beginning as well. SDSU kicked the season off with a food drive between departments in the College of Arts and Sciences last week.

In nine days, the departments raised a total of 2,875 items to be donated to the Harvest table. The food drive ran from Sept. 16 to the 25.

Delora Bennett, a secretary for the Geography Department, started the project.

“I had heard the shelves were getting pretty bare,” Bennett said. Bennett had received an email from the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dennis Papini, asking for more volunteers to help serve at the Harvest Table Sept. 29 with the SDSU Teaching Learning Center.

The Harvest Table averages 175 guests every night for a no cost hot meal prepared by a community group. Sept. 29 was Grocery Night for the Harvest Table. The last Monday of each month the Harvest Table distributes groceries to an average of 250 households that are a part of the Harvest Table.

“I responded to Dean Papini and asked if the College of Arts and Sciences could do a food drive and challenge all the departments within the College of Arts and Sciences,” Bennett said. “He replied yes and sent an email to the department heads and secretaries and the challenge was on.”

Bennett chooses to support the Harvest Table through gifts such as donations from food drives. The geography department raised 145 items for the food drive. The chemistry department raised over 400 items.

Diane Rieken, program assistant for the Department of Architecture, is active in her support for the Harvest Table. Rieken is a weekly volunteer at the Harvest Table and has been the Secretary for their Advisory Board for 14 years.

Rieken is thankful for the support from SDSU and the Brookings community for the Harvest Table.

“We truly appreciate the community generosity and volunteerism,” Rieken said.

The College of Arts and Sciences is not the only organization or group serving and lending a hand at the Harvest Table. Pizza Hut donates from their buffet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and SDSU Dairy donates milk to the Table. Lewis Drug also gives milk coupons.

The season of giving gets closer, and Bennett believes it is important for students to donate their time or food items to the Harvest Table.

“In less than 10 days we brought in close to 3,000 items,” Bennett said. “Those items will be used to feed the hungry in Brookings and those that attend the Harvest Table. Items are needed on a regular basis.”

Diane Rieken also encourages others to help.

“The guests needs increase and the encouragement they receive from SDSU students and faculty gives them hope and added assistance with a positive outcome for all.”