This year, the Hillsdale College Bookstore partnered with the GOAL Program for the bookstore’s canned food drive sale. In exchange for each canned or pantry good donated, the bookstore gave donators 20 percent off coupons.
Trade Book Coordinator Angie Berry ’83, who has worked in the bookstore for 25 years, said they have hosted the canned food drive “on and off” for the past ten years. Though the bookstore and GOAL have worked together before, this is the first year the two have officially partnered.
The idea for the drive began when Saga, Hillsdale’s former food service provider, wanted to host a canned food drive to give back to the Hillsdale community. This year, the donations will be split between King’s Kupboard, a soup kitchen run out of Trinity Lutheran Church, and the Salvation Army.
According to Berry, the amount of food collected varies each year.
“The first years, we had a couple of truckloads,” Berry said. “Some years, we just have a couple of boxes.”
Senior Lu Townley, who runs the GOAL program, said the bookstore and GOAL made the connection official for efficiency.
“We usually do work together,” Townley said. “We are grateful for how helpful the bookstore is and we are happy to work with them.”
Throughout the year, the bookstore donates items to local high schools’ silent auctions, and has done advertisement exchanges with Smith’s Flower Shop and Checker Records. The bookstore is also a member of the Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce, which works to support local businesses.
Pastor Jessica Hahn of Trinity Lutheran Church said she is thankful for the plentiful donations from the community, including gifts of food, money, and time from volunteers.
“It’s not something we do by ourselves,” Hahn said. “We are very thankful for the help from the community.”
Kings Kupboard began in 2003 with just a few boxes in the back of Trinity Lutheran Church. The pantry now serves 825 families and about 2100 people from Hillsdale County per year. Families are welcome to take food from the pantry according to their need, and they can return as often as they wish. According to Hahn, Kings Kupboard often needs more help in colder winter months, as families need to spend money on propane to heat their home.
No matter how many cans donated, Berry said, she is happy that the college is helping out the local community.
“The college here supports the community. We aren’t closed,” Berry said. “We are here to help them.”