November 13, 2009
Food baskets stuffed with ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal were assembled by staff, faculty members and students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences again this year for the St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance.
The annual community outreach project, which started in the dean's office, now has a number of academic units and research centers participating. This year, students from CLAS Hall, the Liberal Arts and Sciences residential college located in Hassayampa Academic Village, also filled a basket.
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"We are very happy to be able to provide baskets for Valley families to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal," says Rebecca Albrecht, director of special events for Liberal Arts and Sciences. "We had an outstanding response again this year from staff in the dean's office and across our academic units and St. Mary's Food Bank is thrilled about our baskets."
Some 23 baskets were delivered in time for the families to shop and prepare their dinners, according to Albrecht.
"We learned that our baskets will go directly to students in their Community Kitchen program," Albrecht adds, explaining that the 15-week program trains low-income adults for employment in the food service industry. In addition to culinary instruction on food safety, cooking principles and methods, students receive life skills coaching in interpersonal development, decision making, money management, ethics and teamwork.
Because there was a wide range of items going into the baskets, participants could contribute at a variety of levels, from a single can of vegetables, to a $10 gift card or a board game, according to Albrecht.
Also participating in this year's service project, in addition to the dean's office and CLAS Hall, were: the School of Social and Family Dynamics, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, School of Life Sciences, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, School of International Letters and Cultures, and the new School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences; several departments and programs including chemistry and biochemistry, physics, military science, American Indian studies, and film and media studies; and the American Indian Policy Institute; Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies; and Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes.