CANTON - When people go to the St. Lawrence University mens hockey game on Saturday, there will be a little extra weight in their pockets and purses.
The first of four Skating Saintss Faceoff with Hunger food drives will take place at Saturdays game against Quinnipiac. All food collecting at Appleton Arena will be give to the Canton Church & Community Program.
Fans are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the game. Bins will be located near the entrance to the hockey rink.
Spearheaded by Jordan Dewey, a senior at St. Lawrence and assistant captain from Montreal, Que., and Patrick Raley, a junior defenseman from Chicago, Ill., the initiative will also be featured at the Dec. 5 home game against Clarkson, Feb. 9 against Union and Feb. 23 versus Dartmouth.
Face-off with Hunger is a project the mens hockey team is doing in conjunction with Mr. Dewey and Mr. Raleys work in a Community Based Learning independent study course on Living with Wisdom.
We had to figure out to do something that was problematic in St. Lawrence County, and we came across more and more stories about this serious problem, Mr. Raley said. We wanted to do something that has a positive impact on the community and what better way to bring people together.
We wanted to do something as local as possible, Mr. Dewey added. If this project really takes off, it will just keep growing.
Over and above the collection of food, their goal is to raise awareness on campus and in the local community about issues of food insecurity in the north country. Fliers with statistical information on hunger will be distributed at the designated food drive games, and T-shirts with the Face-off with Hunger logo will be sold on campus.
We will be keeping track of our progress and continue to make people aware of this problem, Mr. Raley said.
Catherine E. Mathews, C&CP director, was excited about the food drive but was delighted to meet the two students.
They came to see the place and they saw how hard it is to get food in here. We are so touched by this, Ms. Mathews said.
She hopes the publics familiarity with the Skating Saints will not only stock the shelves and help alleviate the severe need for food but inform the less fortunate that her office is there to help.
I hope people will now know we exist and want to come to us. I hope the word spreads that were good people, she said. When you talk community this is what were talking about. We are very appreciative, she said.
Mr. Dewey and Mr. Raley provided the following information:
■ For 1 in 6 Americans, hunger is a reality.
■ Food insecurity is limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.
■ You do not have to be homeless to face food insecurity.
■ 14.7 percent of the population in St. Lawrence County experiences food insecurity.
■ 16.9 percent of the population in St. Lawrence County lives below the poverty level.