Instead of candy, the University of Illinois Springfield community collected 9,000 pounds of canned goods in its UIS TRICK-OR-TREAT FOR CANNED GOODS drive to benefit the CENTRAL ILLINOIS FOODBANK.
HY-VEE on Friday matched UIS' collection by donating to the food bank its own 9,000 pounds of items such as apple juice, breakfast burritos, frozen chicken fingers and salad dressing.
The 2,041 pounds of canned food collected on Halloween by a team of 28 people led by UIS junior DEJA' WILLINGHAM topped collections that were part of the total 9,000 pounds of canned goods UIS students, faculty and staff collected for the food bank.
Willingham, 20, of South Holland, was present Friday when Hy-Vee's donation was loaded into a food bank truck at the store at 2115 S. MacArthur Blvd.
"Technically, our group was sponsored by the Black Student Union ... but I compiled a bunch of my other friends and a bunch of student leaders to fill the rest of the team up," said Willingham, who was captain of the UIS team that collected the most canned goods.
MARK DOCHTERMAN, director of the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center, said the UIS Trick-or-Treat for Canned Goods drive has been held annually since 2008, but this is the first time UIS has partnered with Hy-Vee.
Hy-Vee is in a position to support that."
KYLE THORNSBROUGH, Hy-Vee's store director, said the community is the backbone of Hy-Vee's business.
"We're in such a great neighborhood, and the community is so awesome. I appreciate everything that our customers do, and so I give back anything I can," Thornsbrough said.
The 18,000 pounds of food donated to the Central Illinois Foodbank through the drive and the match will make 15,000 meals, said KRISTA LISSER, spokeswoman for the food bank.
This story appeared online in The State Journal-Register on November 6, 2015.
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