An opportunity to put others first: Radford Gives Back

The campus community is encouraged to collect more than 15,000 canned food items as part of the Radford Gives Back partnership with local nonprofit Bobcat Backpacks.
The Highlander family is encouraged to collect more than 15,000 canned food items as part of the Radford Gives Back partnership with local nonprofit Bobcat Backpacks.

Radford University is supporting the fourth annual Radford Gives Back canned food drive, coming up Oct. 8-9.

The drive reflects the University’s longstanding community partnership with local nonprofit Bobcat Backpacks, which provides Radford City Public Schools (RCPS) students with food each week.

Bobcat Backpacks was founded in 2016 by alumnae Daniela Brunner ’98, Jane Fisher ’94, M.S. ’00 and Jenny Riffe, M.S.W. ’03. Having raised their own children in the RCPS system, the alumnae witnessed firsthand how hunger affects students and their ability to focus in the classroom.

Approximately 50% of RCPS students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Bobcat Backpacks provides approximately 180 of these students with food for weekends. Radford Gives Back helps replenish the organization each year with thousands of nonperishable food items, such as peanut butter, canned vegetables and fruit and granola bars.

“Radford Gives Back establishes a bond between Radford University and Radford City that we believe is just as important as the drive itself,” Riffe said. “Thank you to the Highlanders for helping us meet our goal of leaving no Bobcat hungry.”

Led by Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., and his wife, First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill, Ph.D., Radford Gives Back has become one of the University’s signature volunteer events. Last year, the drive resulted in the collection of more than 15,000 canned goods, representing about a third of the nonprofit’s annual needs.

“I am so proud of the Radford family’s unwavering commitment to this important cause that impacts the lives of children and families in our community,” President Hemphill said. “I encourage the campus community to once again collaborate to make this year’s Radford Gives Back drive a success. Together, let us demonstrate our Highlander pride by collecting more items than ever before.

Canned food items can be dropped off from 3 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 8 and 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Oct. 9 at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center’s Multipurpose Activity Court (MAC). Donations should be delivered to the side door of the MAC, at which parking and unloading access will be available.

Clubs, organizations, academic departments and other campus groups are asked to collect and deliver items together, instead of individually, to help expedite the sorting process.

The drive will culminate on Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. on the MAC where the entire campus community is invited to gather for a short program and to pack 300 weekend food bags in solidarity with and support of Bobcat Backpacks.

Canned food donations requested include: chunky soup, canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned beans, ravioli, peanut butter (16-18 oz.), granola bars, boxed mac ‘n cheese, microwave popcorn and oatmeal packets.

Learn more about this service opportunity and RSVP to Radford Gives Back on the RUInvolved website.

Sep 26, 2019
Mary Hardbarger
(540) 831-5150