Release Date: October 28, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- If you live in the neighborhoods around the University at Buffalo's North Campus, you may be hearing shouts of "Trick or Eat" this Halloween. But these are not your typical trick-or-treaters looking for candy. Underneath the costume will be a UB student asking for a donation of non-perishable food.
The UB students will be going door-to-door from 4:30-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, to collect food for the Food Bank of Western New York. Last year, UB donated 3,000 pounds of food to help Buffalo families who struggle to put food on the table. This year, 125 student volunteers hope to collect 5,000 pounds of food to be distributed to local food pantries with the greatest need.
"Trick or Eat is a fun way for young people to get involved in an issue that is sometimes ignored in today's go-go world," says Terri Budek, community engagement coordinator in UB's Center for Student Leadership and Community Engagement. "While students canvass neighborhoods this Halloween, they will also be raising awareness about the reality that hunger exists in their own backyards."
All the food collected on Oct. 31 will go to the Food Bank of Western New York and from there, be distributed to community food pantries. In addition to the support from the Food Bank, TOPS Friendly Markets on Maple Road contributed 1,500 bags that, along with flyers, have been delivered to houses in the neighborhood in advance to help neighbors gather donations and be ready for when UB students arrive on Halloween night.
The Amherst neighborhood is one of 55 communities -- and only one of two communities in the U.S. -- participating in Trick or Eat, a program started in 1993 by the nonprofit group Meal Exchange (http://www.mealexchange.ca).
Donation bins also have been placed around the UB Student Union so that students, faculty, and staff can contribute.