567 pounds of ham and other food benefits those in need
The holiday reception hosted by President Mark Gearan and Mary Herlihy Gearan on Saturday at the Scandling Center was a great success in the merriment enjoyed by attendees as well as by the food donations offered by staff, faculty, alums and friends of the Colleges to Geneva’s Community Lunch Program.
Marge Shanahan, who oversees the program that serves hot lunches five days a week, was overjoyed to report that donations this year were nearly double from last year, with 492 pounds of ham and 75 pounds of other non-perishable food donated by guests.
“These donations will be used to help with meals throughout the entire year,” she said.
This week, she also anticipates getting a sizable donation from the Colleges’ food service provider Sodexho Corp., which gives her perishable food items at the end of each semester.
“This community is so caring. I am very grateful,” said Shanahan, “And the idea has caught on. I received a surprise from the Zonta Club of Geneva, which did a similar project in conjunction with their holiday celebration.”
Last year, President Gearan’s idea to request canned hams and other non-perishable goods to support the lunch program collected 320 pounds of ham at the 2005 Holiday Reception.
The Community Lunch Program was established in 1983 as an undertaking of the Interfaith Council in Geneva and is now operated by Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes. In 2005 the program served almost 20,000 meals, 10 percent of them to children under age 18.
Students, faculty and staff from Hobart and William Smith are frequent volunteers at the free program, hosted by the First United Methodist Church on Main Street. Each year, students in several service learning classes volunteer for the program and the Public Service Office coordinates staffing on Thursdays two months of the year. In addition, the Office of Residential Life incorporated service to the program as part of its holiday giving activities this season.
Interested volunteers may contact the HWS Public Service Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 3825 for more information.