A few weeks back, I told you about a young woman on our soccer team who had started a food drive called the “Red and White Hunger Fight.”
Well, the fight is over for this year and I’d say hunger lost this battle.
Sophomore Michele Dalton is a backup goalkeeper for Coach Paula Wilkins’ Badger soccer team. But Dalton is also passionate about community service. She approached me last spring about her idea for a campus-wide food drive and, through her own hard work and organization (and the help of others like Anne Whisner of the Morgridge Center and Chris Brockel of the Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin), she got it done to the tune of FOUR TONS OF FOOD DONATIONS!
“The amount of people that showed up to volunteer definitely surprised me and encouraged me for future years,” Dalton said.
Dalton says more than 130 volunteers showed up to help sort donations on the “big day” and more than 50 organizations got involved, including UW student-athletes.
The group that collected the most food – UW-Madison’s Army ROTC – will be introduced at this Saturday’s football game against Cal Poly. The cadets secured about 1,200 pounds of food.
Michele’s idea had its origins when she was attending John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Ill. The school has a program – of which Dalton was a part -- called SOS (Service Over Self), a leadership course that plans community service events. The program coordinator, Mark Gunther, encouraged Dalton to continue her involvement in college.
I read recently that nearly 40 million Americans are “food insecure.” That lack of security is helped by people like Michele, a UW student-athlete we can all be proud of.