RHA pairs with Rider Resource Pantry for Thanksgiving drive

By Hannah Newman

Giving thanks on Thanksgiving is tradition, but being thanked for donating your time and energy to help others provides good reason to cherish the hoiday season. 

Rider has been conducting a Thanksgiving Food Drive for over 25 years now. This year, their goal is to collect 150 boxes of food donations. 

The Rider Resource Pantry and the Residence Hall Association (RHA), have partnered to strengthen the positive impact that the Thanksgiving Food Drive will have on the community around Rider.

Service and Civic Engagement Director Joan Liptrot said, “Parents are making decisions whether to pay their electric bill or buy food. We want to combine efforts so that our impact can be greater.”

The food drive was developed to collect food for the community around Rider, including the Lawrence Community Center, Womanspace and Millhill Child and Family Development Center in Trenton. 

Any extra food collected is donated to Arm in Arm, a crisis ministry in Mercer County.  

“This is a huge time of need in our community and lots of organizations are trying to get families to food and now more than ever with the cost of everything going up, it is even harder for families to get food,” said Liptrot. 

Liptrot discussed how many students live off of the hot meals that are sold at public schools, especially due to lower costs. When children under these circumstances go home for the holiday, their ability to obtain meals is compromised until school opens back up. 

As a result of this setback, Liptrot is encouraging the donations of goods such as pasta, peanut butter and jelly, so that students can continue their school meal routine at home over their break. 

Not only is the drive collecting goods, Venmo, a money transferring app, and other forms of payment will also be accepted and used to buy food items, which gives everyone on campus the opportunity to get involved. 

Photo courtesy of Megan Grimshaw.

Senior psychology major and President of RHA Megan Grimshaw said, “Personally, I have always helped out my local church or food pantry and I think the students and families in need are very appreciative of that. Donations really do make an impact and I think this partnership was a great opportunity to not only make an impact but to get RHA’s name out there.”  

 The Thanksgiving drive allows students to get involved in the community around them and assist students that they may pass everyday without having known their story.

“This is the faculty, staff and students time to come together and be thankful for what we have and what we can do for others,” Administrative Specialist Victoria McLendon said. “If we all give a few items or a few dollars we can have a meaningful impact on families that live in our community that may not have a basic item we consider special on this special day.”

Any questions or concerns regarding the drive can be sent to rha@rider.edu or jliptrot@rider.edu.

Features and Entertianment editor Tristan Leach is a member of Residence Life Association and did not have a part in the writing or editing of this piece.

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