The Hillsdale College Book­store and GOAL are hosting a canned food drive to support local char­ities. Alex Nester | Collegian

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.”