Homecoming means giving back to hometown for LSU

Photo provided by staff

POSTED: Friday, October 25, 2013 - 5:00am

UPDATED: Friday, October 25, 2013 - 3:27pm

Homecoming brings with it lots of events designed to promote school spirit. LSU also has an event designed to promote a spirit of giving.

LSU is nearing the end of its annual Canapalooza food drive. It began September 23 and ends Sunday. And in the tradition of homecoming, all the cans are being stacked in the Parade Grounds to form replicas of Tiger Stadium and Mike VI's habitat.

"I have no idea how they collect all these cans," Ka'sha Bernard said, "but it's for a good cause."

Bernard is a junior who serves with Volunteer LSU, the student body's main charitable organization. So far, dozens of campus organizations have helped them collect 16,000 cans.

"I think it's awesome that people care about the hungry people of Louisiana," she said. "Because we all come from Louisiana, and Louisiana puts so much into LSU, so I'm glad that LSU is giving back to the community."

There are several drop-off bins around campus, and volunteers will be out before the Furman game on Saturday to collect food. They are asking fans who go to the game to bring a can of food with them for the donation drive.

Sunday, trucks from the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank will come to campus to collect the food. Students can often be isolated on campus, but by that point, they will have a much better understanding of the community they live in.

"One of the things I learned about during Canapalooza is how impoverished our state is and how many people are hungry," Bernard stated.

Last year's drive resulted in more than 19,000 pounds going to the food bank. That quantity of food makes a big difference, but it is a relatively small amount compared to the amount the food bank distributes. In 2012, it gave out more than 9,000,000 meals, which equates to more than a month's worth of food for every fan at a sold-out football game.

"Even though these cans are really heavy and they take a long time to transport, I think about how many people we're serving," Bernard mentioned. "I know the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank serves people in 11 parishes, so that's what keeps me going when I wake up and my body hurts from moving cans."

And more than a win over Furman, that is something LSU alumni can be proud of.

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