Indiana Daily Student

Kind Commute Campaign initiates sustainable travel, food pantry donations

<p>A student rides his bike Nov. 8, 2021, near the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. Transportation Demand Management is partnering with the Crimson Cupboard Food Pantry during the Thanksgiving season in a new initiative called the Kindness Commute Campaign.</p>

A student rides his bike Nov. 8, 2021, near the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. Transportation Demand Management is partnering with the Crimson Cupboard Food Pantry during the Thanksgiving season in a new initiative called the Kindness Commute Campaign.

Transportation Demand Management is partnering with the Crimson Cupboard Food Pantry during the Thanksgiving season in a new initiative called the Kind Commute Campaign.

Students, faculty and staff can log their miles of sustainable transportation, such as walking or riding a bike or scooter, and TDM will donate $1 for every mile, up to $1,000, to the Crimson Cupboard. The initiative began Nov. 1 and will run through Nov. 20.

Anna Dragovich, Transportation Demand Management coordinator and bicycle manager, said the campaign is a great way to meet both the goals of her department and the Crimson Cupboard. The partnership will encourage students, faculty and staff to use sustainable modes of transportation while benefiting students struggling with food insecurity, she said.

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The options of sustainable travel are walking, biking, taking a bus, carpooling, using a motorcycle, moped or scooter or skateboarding, Dragovich said.

Brandon Shurr, director of Crimson Cupboard, said he is looking forward to the awareness this partnership will bring, in terms of both sustainable modes of transportation and for the food pantry. He said he hopes it introduces more people to the prominent issue of food insecurity at IU.

“It brings awareness to people who maybe aren’t aware of the Crimson Cupboard Food Pantry, and also maybe aren’t aware of the food insecurity issue on IU’s campus,” Shurr said. 

He said following the campaign, he hopes to see more people utilizing the food pantry, whether that is using it for its resources or volunteering to help out if they are able. By learning about the pantry, he said, the IU community may realize they need its services or are able to provide time or donations for it.

“I hope it brings awareness to a new group of people that maybe haven’t had a chance to learn about the food pantry,” Shurr said. 

David Smiley, senior lecturer in the Department of Health & Wellness Design in the School of Public Health, said sustainable transportation is an important practice in reducing climate change. 

“We’re all in a battle for preventing the raising of the temperature on Earth by doing whatever we can as it relates to stalling or eventually stopping climate change,” Smiley said. “And obviously travel and tourism has a big impact.”

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He said the city of Bloomington has done a great job pushing for more sustainable travel by making it easier to travel by bike or use electric cars, by adding more bike lanes and electric charging stations in parking garages for cars. Students, he said, contribute to a large majority of the city’s transportation.

“If we can get more of that population walking and riding bikes and using other forms of transportation, that’s going to help the city overall,” Smiley said.

Smiley said the partnership between TDM and the Crimson Cupboard is a great way to help initiate change within the city. He is excited to see the results, he said.

“I like that the Transportation Demand Management is going to contribute to the Crimson Cupboard,” Smiley said. “I think that’s another perfect example of how you can try to encourage more of that action as well.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misspelled the campaign's name.

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