Fordham’s Campus Ministry Hosts Thanksgiving Give-Away


The Office of Campus Ministry is accepting monetary donations for its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive through the end of November. (Courtesy of Unsplash)

Grace Galbreath, Staff Writer

The Office of Campus Ministry is accepting monetary donations for its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive through the end of November.

Several organizations have partnered with Campus Ministry and will receive the collected donations. Donations made to the Rose Hill campus will be given to The Church of Our Lady of Mercy, Part of the Solution and the Creston Avenue Baptist Soup Kitchen. Donations made to the Lincoln Center campus will benefit The Church of St. Paul, the Apostle Soup Kitchen and the Xavier Mission.

The drive is held each year around Thanksgiving to help struggling families. Director of Operations, Budget and Community Engagement at Campus Ministry, Gilda Severiano, emphasized the importance of providing monetary support for others during the holiday season.

“It is a perfect time to bring up the issue of food insecurity. Food insecurity is something that is permeating all levels of society, especially after COVID-19. It [the drive] is something that we have done for many years and became especially important after COVID-19 because food was hard to come by for many people,” said Severiano.

The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive has been running in some capacity for the last 20 years. Last year, about $6,000 were collected. Canned and non-perishable foods were accepted donations in the early years of the drive, but for the last five years, Campus Ministry has only accepted monetary donations. Severiano cited the cause of the change to receiving expired foods and culturally inappropriate selections.

“In speaking to our community partners, they asked that we give them monetary donations so they could buy in bulk and they could buy the food that was culturally appropriate for their particular community. We are a very diverse area in the Bronx, so it’s not like every community partner is going to be buying rice and beans. Some will be buying stuffing,” said Severiano.
Severiano also highlighted work done by Fordham’s Pedro Arrupe Volunteers to fight the growing problem of food insecurity in the Bronx. The organization plans frequent visits to the Creston Avenue Baptist Soup Kitchen, allowing Fordham students to help individuals in the surrounding community directly.

“It is one of the best ways for students and staff to go out into the community and actually meet people that are experiencing food insecurity and talk to them directly,” said Severiano.

Emily Koch, GSB ’25, assisted in the Creston Avenue Baptist Soup Kitchen last week.

“I had never volunteered at a soup kitchen before, so didn’t really know what to expect. Although my contact with the individuals coming by to get food was limited, having the opportunity to learn from and spend time with the local women dedicating their Saturday to cooking the food was really special,” said Koch.

Severiano also mentioned another Campus Ministry initiative: Swipe Out Hunger, a program dedicated to ending food insecurity on campus. Through the program, students can fill out a form and choose any number of guest meal swipes to donate to their fellow students.

Severiano said she encourages students to take advantage of Campus Ministry events like the Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive and to take the time to make a positive impact in their community.

“Not everyone can rely on having three meals a day, seven days a week. It is a good time to think about that. Especially at Thanksgiving, it is a good time to be grateful for our privilege, but also grateful to have the opportunity to positively impact another family,” said Severiano.