UNC Charlotte students Michelle Benard and Rebecca Soto are spearheading a food drive event with the Univeristy Center for Academic Excellence that aims to collect food and supplies for underprivileged UNC Charlotte students.

Based on a program in England that provides food and hygiene products to individuals who grew up in foster care but aged out of the system, the drive will give these students food and other items that they otherwise might not have access to.

“I would like to motivate you, and your colleagues, to collaborate with us at this point,” said Soto during a panel discussion presented to the Department of Academic Services faculty members Wednesday, Nov. 20. “If you or anyone you may know has these items at home, come by and drop them off.”

Four drop off locations are available until Tuesday, Nov. 26. Three locations are located in the Fretwell building, the University Center for Academic Excellence office in Fretwell 330, the Building Educational Strengths and Talents (BEST) office in Fretwell 314 and the Tutorial Services lobby in Fretwell 318K. A fourth located in the Students Obtaining Success office in Colvard 2046.

While the locations are prepared to take donations until Tuesday, Soto says they are trying to get donations as soon as possible.

“We’re actually going to make a basket and make it presentable to make it like a gift, so as soon as possible would be awesome,” said Soto.

Items being collected are primarily canned foods with pull tops and reusable storage containers. Other items being collected include shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and snack bars. It is asked that donations not be packaged in glass.

The drive is part of an initiative that Benard and Soto are working to start following their participation in the university’s Kingston University Exchange, when the two girls, along with nine university faculty and five other UNC Charlotte students, spent a week at Kingston University in England to learn more about the structure of different universities and to find ways to better the college experience in Charlotte.

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Flyer created for UCAE Thanksgiving food drive. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Soto.
Eden Creamer was the Editor-in-Chief for the Niner Times from May 2013 through April 2015. She graduated from UNC Charlotte in May 2015, receiving her degree in Communication Studies with minors in English, Journalism and Women's Studies. She now does freelance proofing, copywriting and design in the Charlotte area, and can be reached at edencreamer@gmail.com