The “Nicholls Can” project is an idea for community service that would involve the entire Nicholls Community. We invite volunteers from every area and will need your help to make this a successful project.
This project would establish a University wide non-perishable food drive for the benefit of local food banks. We want to involve all areas of the campus — departments, athletics, student government, Greeks, faculty, staff and alumni – everybody. Our goal, one that is attainable, is to collect one can for each student, faculty member and staff member on this campus. That would give us over 7,000 non-perishable food items that could make a tremendous difference to our area food banks and to the hungry in these areas.
The plan is to conduct the food drive twice a year, tentatively in the weeks before spring break and the weeks before Thanksgiving. There are six food banks in the surrounding areas and we will rotate between them, choosing three banks for each drive.
The need is real. Last year 5.6 million households in the United States utilized emergency food from a food bank one or more times. In 2010, there were 2,221 individuals who accessed the services of the Thibodaux Food Bank. In 2011, that number rose to 3,467 or about a 30% increase in the number of people in need. Unlike many other types of financial institutions today, “this is the kind of bank most people wouldn’t mind bailing out.”
Food banks provide service to people who chronically find themselves in need. For instance, an elderly man on a fixed income who, at the end of the month, has to choose between filling a prescription OR buying groceries. Other people find themselves in unexpected crisis such as a mother who suddenly becomes the sole breadwinner.
When most of us were in grade school, we couldn’t wait for weekends and holidays. For many young students today, the days before a weekend or holiday are filled with anxiety – because they know they may not get another decent meal until school is back in session.
The success of this service project will rest with each of us. Many faculty and staff lead, inspire and effect change in the lives of their students. They have done outstanding service learning initiatives, undergraduate research projects, and created exceptional learning experiences in and out of the classroom.
This project asks that each you use your influence to inspire your students to become responsible community members who make a difference to people in need. We should encourage our students to participate in these food drives simply because it is the right thing to do.
We will need a great deal more help developing this project and invite all of you who are interested to join us as we move forward to make this a reality. Anyone interested in becoming involved in this initiative should call the Department of Art.
Concern for others and community service should be a part of the Nicholls culture. Hopefully in the future, the “Nicholls Can” project becomes as familiar to our students as Crawfish Day or Family Day. What this project needs is your help and enthusiasm to make it a reality.
Together we CAN make a difference.