Pharmacy fraternity host drive-thru food collection

The Marshall School of Pharmacy’s Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity will host a drive-thru food collection to benefit the Facing Hunger Foodbank this Friday, Feb. 26 from noon to 5 p.m.  

“The day of the drive, we will collect the donations and have them organized at the school,” said Paige Moore, Worthy Chief Counselor of Phi Delta Chi. “We are doing this in the safest way possible so that donors are comfortable if they want to leave their cars or if they don’t want to leave their cars.”  

The organization will accept non-perishable food items and cash.    

Moore said to drop items off. The method is up to the discretion of each individual donor.  

“We will be more than happy if they just open the back of their trunk, and we can remove the items that way,” said Moore. “Or, if they are not comfortable with us being within their car, they are welcome to drop it off in our designated area where they can place their donations.”  

She said the main difference between the food drive during the pandemic versus prior to is the contactless donation process.  

“It’s just going to be people coming up and dropping their items off, and there will probably be a little less of the comradery seen at past events,” said Moore. “In that aspect, COVID has changed it.”  

Donors may enter the Charleston Avenue side of Stephen J. Kopp Hall and exit via 11th Street.   

“We ask them, of course, to have a mask on,” said Moore. To ensure all participants’ safety, staff and students will work the event. Staff will maintain social distancing and masking requirements.    

“I think it is important to the community, certainly with the recent weather and the pandemic, foodbanks could use some help,” said Eric Blough, associate dean of academic and curricular affairs at the School of Pharmacy. “I think this is a way we can give back a little bit to the community and also teach our students how to give back and be good stewards of the community.”  

Some of the most requested items are non-perishable items, said Moore.  

“Things such as canned fruit, beans and peanut butter are always needed due to their long shelf life,” she said. “Pasta also has a decent shelf life, so really anything that is not likely to expire just so it can be kept for however long necessary to transport the food to areas that might need it the most.”  

Blough said the pharmacy school collected over 1,300 pounds of food and $660 during the school’s last two food drives.  

“I’m proud of our students’ commitment to meeting the needs of our community,” said Blough.  

In the past, Moore says pharmacy students would bring items to their in-person courses and leave them in a designated spot as a competition between the different pharmacy classes.  

“COVID has certainly changed the way we do this,” said Moore. “As a school and as a student organization, we have had to get really creative in how we can participate in our community.”  

Moore says she is happy with any donations they collect on Friday,and Facing Hunger Foodbank is appreciative of everything they can do to help.  

“I’m hoping, especially with the weather improving this week, that we will see a decent turnout of people coming through,” said Moore.  

She said she expects as much or more donations as the last food collection hosted by the pharmacy school this fall.  

“I think our location is very convenient for people to drop items off,” said Moore. “We still want to provide to our community, but we are doing it separately but together.”  

Moore said that the relocation of the pharmacy school to a more central part of Huntington has allowed students to enjoy the opportunity to be more involved in the community.  

“A lot of us have a lot of exposure to people in the community, and we have a special insight into what the community really needs,” said Moore.  

Moore says the inspiration behind the event is the pharmacy school’s personal need and the want of pharmacy students to give back.   

Isabella Robinson can be contacted at [email protected].