With the holidays quickly approaching, Penn State paired together with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in an initiative to fill the football team’s blue bus with food to help benefit the community.
Brad Peterson, the director of communications and marketing at the food bank, said the goal of the food drive is to raise between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds of food, but said they never know what they’re going to get.
“We’re optimistic because of the pre-promotion and because of the great philanthropy of the Penn State fans and alumni,” Peterson, Class of 1983, said. “We’re hoping this is going to very successful.”
He said discussion between Penn State’s athletic department and the food bank began about 18 months ago, and the bank supplied Penn State with barrels and any other information they needed to make the drive successful.
Peterson said that though it would be great if people wanted to donate traditional holiday items like boxed stuffing or boxed mashed potatoes, he said they welcome any other contribution and will take anything that someone wants to give.
At Saturday’s football game, he said the four locations for donations include Gate B at the Bryce Jordan Center, the Visitor’s Center at Beaver Stadium, Medlar Field and Jeffrey Field.
“We thank everyone in advance for their support and for helping hungry families in Pennsylvania,” Peterson said.
Jeff Fisher, marketing manager of the Penn State athletic department, said his office is running the whole initiative.
Fisher said the football coaches’ wives wanted to do something to give back to the community, and said Colleen O’Brien did radio and television commercials to raise awareness of the drive.
“This community has given so much to this football team, this is a way we can give back to the community,” he said.
Fisher said almost every seat of the bus was filled on Thursday, and said he hoped by game day, they would fill the bus entirely.
He said so far, they had collected a wide range of items, such as shampoo, dog food and rigatoni pasta.
Garrett Buell (senior-architecture) said he was watching the bus early Thursday morning, and said he saw someone drop off food at 7 a.m.
Though he said the bus, which is located outside of the BJC, was out of the way for many students, he said he believed they would fill it up by game day.
“It’s that time of year when this stuff happens,” he said. “It’s a really cool thing we’re doing with all of this.”