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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

IMU begins fundraiser Monday

The Indiana Memorial Union began its annual fundraiser, Helping Hands Monday to fight hunger.

The fundraiser and food collection will run through Friday, Nov. 6.

By donating non-perishable food at the Market in the IMU or donating cash through any food retail shop in the IMU, students, faculty, staff and community 
members can participate.

“We have a lot of focus on stopping hunger,” said Chris Gray, food and beverage director for IMU restaurants and catering. “We take, I guess, to heart that it’s our responsibility — dealing so much with food — to help the organizations in our areas that we do business in when they’re trying to fight hunger.”

The IMU works with the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, which receives the money raised by the fundraiser.

Hoosier Hills will use all of the money raised to purchase food for different food pantries in the Bloomington community.

The IMU dining’s parent company, Sodexo, a food services 
corporation, implements the company-wide Stop Hunger Food Drive every fall.

In 2014, the food drive donated the equivalent of 442,000 meals to food banks in 38 states nationwide, according to the Sodexo 

In the past, the IMU fundraiser has donated between $7,000 and $9,000. However, this year the IMU has raised its goal to $10,000.

Along with this new goal, the IMU is accepting more non-perishable food items than in previous years because more people said they wanted to donate canned goods.

“Whatever it is, we have to make it easy for people to donate,” Gray said. “You know, if we make it a really difficult thing that they have to come out and do, it’s not going to work, so it’s got to be something easy and spontaneous they can do.”

Like most communities in the United States, Gray said, there is a big need locally for those who are food insecure. He said it’s necessary to promote and help the Hoosier Hills Food Bank as much as possible.

“Even though the Hoosier Hills does great things for the community — you know, sending more than 4 million pounds last year — it’s still not enough,” Gray said.

Although the fundraiser happens every fall, the IMU works with the Hoosier Hills Food Bank and its meal-share program year round, as it donates leftover food from the Tudor Room, the Market and catering.

The leftover food is then distributed to different meal shares to be given to the community.

“That way we’re not just throwing our waste in the garbage,” Gray added.

Along with these two initiatives, the IMU will also take part in a round-up campaign in the spring through which consumers can round up their purchase to the nearest dollar to donate to Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

The IMU will also ask for donations from anyone who dines at the Tudor Room on Thanksgiving.

Gray said it is a responsibility of the IMU to give back to the community.

“You know, we exist in this community because of the community,” Gray said. “So it’s important for us to give back to that.”

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