Holiday drive to help those in need

In an effort to fill the tables of area families this holiday season, Radford University's Greek Life community is conducting a food drive.

The fifth annual RU Holiday Food Drive began Nov. 17 and will last through Dec. 12. During this time, the campus community is encouraged to donate non-perishable food items to be distributed to local food pantries.

This year's goal is to collect 10,000 pounds of food, but the food drive's real mission exceeds the numbers tallied.

"The true lesson of this annual service event is to show the RU community that we can help our neighbors, friends and in some cases, our own families, have a better holiday season as we open our wallets, pantries and hearts to support our piece of the world and make a difference for a family we may never meet," said Robert Marias, assistant director of student activities – Greek Life.


Members of Radford University's Greek Life community gather at a collection table for a previous Holiday Food Drive. This year, the group aims to collect 10,000 pounds of non-perishable food items for families in need.

The initiative began in fall 2010, when a U-Haul truck was parked outside the Hurlburt Student Center. Students, faculty and staff filled the truck with food donations.

Years later, the effort continues.

The Greek Life community organizes the drive with RU's Parking Enforcement Officer Bob Hickman, who operates a local food pantry that supplies food to area philanthropies, such as the Radford Food Bank and Beans and Rice.

"RU and our Greek Community are part of the local community, and programs like this annual food drive help provide opportunities for all our students to connect to the greater Radford community in a positive way," Marias added.

Angie Graham of Alpha Sigma Tau is helping out with the drive this year. The Christiansburg resident and Interdisciplinary studies major said she hopes the drive will have a "humbling" effect on students.

"I hope that for Greek Life as a whole, we become more humble in our efforts and embrace our organization's values and live them out, especially during this time of thanks and giving."

Collection boxes are located at the McConnell Library and the Hurlburt Student Center and will be made available at RU men's basketball games.

Items most needed are: canned meats (tuna, chicken); peanut butter; canned fruits and vegetables; boxed pasta and rice; canned meals (spaghetti); and cereal.

For more information, contact Marias at

Nov 18, 2014