(image credit: CCEL)

The SNHU community is at its most vibrant and enthusiastic when it comes together to support the local community and help those in need. Each year, the Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) teams up with the NH Food Bank to sponsor Give a Little, Feed a Lot (GALFAL), a campus-wide service project that will celebrate its tenth year on Saturday, September 15.

GALFAL has grown dramatically since its inception in 2009. During its first year, volunteers collected an impressive 4,225 pounds of food. Last year, that amount more than doubled to 8,680 pounds collected by 132 eager volunteers.

Elizabeth Richards, Director of CCEL, is among the many dedicated individuals who makes this event happen each year. “The Center for Community Engaged Learning wanted to create an event that would get a large number of SNHU community members involved in community service from the very beginning of the academic year. The founders also wanted to create a tradition that would have a positive, meaningful impact on our community.”

Prior to the event, CCEL staff spread the word throughout the community by giving out donation bags across Manchester neighborhoods. Residents are to fill these bags with non-perishable food which will be collected by volunteers on the day of the event.

The day begins by volunteers meeting on the green space where they are assigned a route and given a t-shirt. Volunteers may register individually or as part of a group, but everyone works in groups. Everyone is then bussed to their given route where they are provided with shopping carts donated by Hannaford supermarkets. Once their routes are completed, the food is loaded onto a truck from the NH Food Bank.

This year, efforts are being made to eliminate confusion regarding routes and bus stops. “We’re assigning each group of volunteers a student leader who is really familiar with the section of the city they’re been assigned,” said Richards.

Once everyone has completed their route, volunteers are treated to a barbecue on the Green Space. The impact of their hard work is on full display as the food bank truck gets filled with food to be sent to those in need.

Not only is participating in the event an excellent way to make a difference on a local level, but it also encourages students to bond with one another and develop team-building skills. “We always hope that students will learn a little bit more about the Manchester community and about how food insecurity impacts our neighbors. This event is also just a great way to meet people and have fun together,” said Richards.

This year, registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the event will officially begin at around 10 a.m.
Volunteers can sign up at bit.ly/GALFAL18. Visit the CCEL office in the Green Space for any
additional questions.

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