Before the Eastern Illinois University Panther football team plays its last home game of the regular season, students will “stuff the bus” with canned goods during a tailgate celebration Saturday morning.
The “Stuff the Bus” event is part of EIU Hunger Challenge Month designed to bring awareness to the community about hunger and poverty in the Coles County area and help provide support to local pantries.
“If you have food in the fridge and your parents are helping you out, hunger is not something on your mind,” said Samantha Sarich, student organizer. “At the end of the month, I hope to make more students and community members aware of the issue of hunger and poverty.”
The canned-good collection will occur on the east side of O’Brien Stadium in the tailgating section right behind the stadium, and participants are asked to bring non-perishable goods and monetary gifts. All donations will be given to local food pantries in Charleston. The event will also include a bounce house and laser tag.
“We want to help our community, and have a little fun too,” Sarich said.
Throughout the month of November, Sarich and other student volunteers sponsored many events from food drives, advocacy opportunities and documentary screenings to help bring awareness about hunger and poverty.
The “Stuff the Bus” event is sponsored by the Office of Student Community Service and EIU Athletics Department. After the event, participants are encouraged to watch the Eastern vs. Jacksonville State football game at noon in Lantz Arena.