Decatur Community Comes Together for WSOY Annual Food Drive

Arica Burns

The Decatur community came together throughout the week of Sept. 30 for the WSOY Food Drive. Millikin students made 5,653 donations. This consists of 5,473 pounds of food as well as cash donations.

It was below the goal, but impactful all the same. The students at Millikin always contribute and take control of the food drive in their own way.

Kim Magana, this year’s chair of the food drive, has supported Millikin’s food drive for about six years. She has also helped support the WSOY food drive before that during her last six years at ADM. She feels a sense of pride at how involved the students get when the food drive comes around.

“I think it’s something they understand,” Magana said. “I know that we have food-insecure students even here on campus. So, I think it’s something people understand. They know that even though maybe the students don’t have a lot to give, they can likely afford a can of food.”

The food drive gives students a sense of community because they are helping the Decatur area in an important cause. The Greek life at Millikin made it their own by initially competing to see who could raise the most. They have since been working together rather than competing, and they championed the food drive last year.

The athletics take part in it as well, but they do not focus on the pounds of food that they gather. Their goal is to have everyone bring in at least one can. 

The School of Nursing had a competition with other nursing schools to collect food for their respective communities as well

Millikin partners with Aramark Dining Services. According to Magana, Aramark has donated at least a thousand pounds for the last ten years. They have been a big part of Millikin’s contributions.

Donation bins were set up all around campus in most, if not all, of the buildings. The signs were simple but more than just an announcement. 

“I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the actual food drive on the food drive day, but it’s seriously one of the most inspiring days,” said Magana. “It’s twelve hours while they’re on the radio doing this food drive, but you see all these students come in from the area. Grade schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges like Richland and Millikin show up with truck and van loads of food. There’s hundreds and hundreds of volunteers there that day that are unloading the vans. People don’t even have to get out of their vehicles, they can just pull up, pop their trunk, and people will just take the food right out and get it loaded up. I’ve seen them get more sophisticated in the way they run it that day.”

Seeing the food drive on the actual day is inspiring because it is seeing the community come together. Everyone comes together to help those in need, and it is beneficial for the food banks all around. People rally together to support a cause that is sometimes forgotten.

A cause as important as this needs support. Millikin does provides this support by getting the students involved. Just giving one can goes a long way because it is enough to make even the smallest difference in one person’s life.

Don’t think about the pounds. Think about how much support is being given to those in need. This year, Millikin was short of their goal for 7,000, but everyone gave what they could. Give because there are so many people out there who need it, so next year get involved!