A male student holds a food bag.By Stephen Wilson

It took three minutes.

The men’s lacrosse team gathered to fill bags with basic food items, like pasta, cereal, tuna fish, beans, canned vegetables, and fruit bars. Cases of cans and boxed items lined the tables in Marquis Dining Hall.

For years Landis Community Outreach Center has organized the annual food drive as part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. It includes events like film screenings on homelessness, talks, global hunger education, and the food drive.

Each year volunteers fill bags that are then sold to students at dining halls. Big bags cost $10 and small ones $5. Both bags are paid for with Pard Dollars.

Students then drop the bags off at Landis or in their residence hall. Students can also drop off individual items that are higher-priority needs.

“It is an easy way to have students pass on meals to families in need,” says Amber Zuber, Landis Center director. “It can be harder for students to get to the grocery store, so we help bring it to them.”

Dining Services makes the food available.

The week is organized by a team of student leaders including Morgan O’Connell, Sydney Edelson, Fatima Akbar, Rebecca Wai, Kat DiLillo, and Rebecca Webster.

But it was the 45 members of the men’s lacrosse team who stuffed the 60 bags … in three minutes.

Assistant Coach Scott Bieda has had his team help at several community events this year, including one at Bethany Church and another escorting trick or treaters in neighborhoods.

“Our team’s culture is about being leaders not just on the field but also in the community,” says Bieda. “There is more out there that needs our focus than our next game.”

The student-athletes then scurried out the door to prepare for their team yoga session.

That, no doubt, would take longer than three minutes.

To help area families in need, contact Zuber or visit the Landis Center website for opportunities.

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