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Junior Nicholas Taro (Bernardsville, N.J.) made Thanksgiving merry for Lehigh Valley residents in need by coordinating a food drive that raised 4,917 pounds of non-perishable goods.

Held in conjunction with Lafayette’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week, the drive ran from Nov. 11-22. An economics and business major, Taro presented the donations from residence halls, fraternities and sororities, off-campus businesses, and faculty to Second Harvest Food Bank in Allentown.

“I wanted to do something on a large scale,” said Taro, who participated in a food drive during his years at Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J. “My high school was very service oriented, and I felt that such a service activity should be done at Lafayette.”

Taro left no stone unturned as he made arrangements with Alsac Trucking, Inc. of Elizabeth, N.J., to transport the goods to the food bank, secured a cargo container donation from Maersk Sealand, and contacted Don Pablo’s Mexican Kitchen about hosting a party for the group that donated the most food.

Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority made the largest contribution, donating 1,320 pounds of food and earning a party at Don Pablo’s next semester.

“Seeing the success and involvement, I hope to continue this food drive in the following years,” Taro says.

He notes that about 95 percent of the donations came from Greek organizations. The endeavor proved to him that the Greek system offers a lot more than social activities, he adds. “There are many aspects, including the donation of food, time, and money.”

Taro is a lay Eucharistic minister and member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, which sponsors pancake breakfasts to raise money for Lafayette’s Alternative School Break Club and organized its annual Rivalry Run this fall to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Organized annually, Hunger and Homelessness Week provides educational forums that illustrate poverty and its implications. This year, students built a “Cardboard City on the Quad” to demonstrate how those on the street live, sponsored a global banquet, and journeyed to New York City to deliver dinners, socks, and mittens to the needy. More than 100 students participated in the week’s events.

Categorized in: Students