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Many hands make light work

Posted 10:19 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023

Community Food Drive Nov. 27 - Dec. 15.

UWL partnering with Great Rivers United Way, Rotary Lights to help those facing food insecurity

UWL is once again supporting a Community Food Drive in partnership with Great Rivers United Way (GRUW) and Rotary Lights La Crosse. UWL is among more than 30 local businesses and organizations who have volunteered to be external food collection sites as part of the annual Rotary Lights holiday tradition in La Crosse’s Riverside Park. 

Non–perishable food donations can be dropped off at the Information Desk, located on the first floor of the Student Union, starting Nov. 27. This site will accept donations from the public and campus community through Dec. 15.  

Before the inaugural event in 2022, non-perishable food donations could only be made at Riverside Park during Rotary Lights. In 2022, the additional Community Food Drives collected 25,000 non-perishable food items at out-of-park locations, which added to the over 300,000 items collected on-site.  

Throughout its 28-year history, the Rotary Lights has collected over 5 million food items.  

“Engaging in our community is a core initiative at UWL," says Lisa Klein, UWL’s Community Engagement coordinator. “The addition of external food collection sites made such a positive impact on the efforts of Rotary Lights that it was an easy decision to partner with Great Rivers United Way again.” 

Donations collected during the GRUW-Rotary Lights Food Drive are shared with more than 10 different food pantries throughout the area, providing relief to those facing food insecurity. Between 6 and 10% of people within the seven counties that GRUW serves do not have a reliable source of food.  

One food pantry included in donation distribution is the UWL Campus Food Pantry, located in the COVE (2220, Student Union), which serves more than 250 students each month. In 2022, over 5,000 food items were donated to the UWL Campus Food Pantry from the Rotary Lights Food Drive. 

For a complete list of Community Food Drive locations, visit www.gruw.org/fooddrive. Rotary Lights will run in Riverside Park from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31. 


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