During the season of giving, in lieu of Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, the first things that come to mind are food, presents and lastly, maybe giving back to those who are less fortunate. And more times than not, the latter is because you still believe in Santa Clause and want to be on the “Nice” list (oops did I ruin that?) or you need more volunteer or philanthropy hours. It’s the sad truth that giving to others simply falls low on our list of to do’s, below studying for finals, and certainly after a Netflix binge over break. Luckily, it doesn’t have to stay that way.

UIUC Spoon would like to encourage you to get out of your apartment (or sadly, the library) and celebrate the love of food by sharing it with others. Below are four ways you can donate your time or food and make an impact, larger than the one that pumpkin pie you’re going to eat will on your waistline.

1. Simply Donate
Whether it’s through your fraternity/sorority, church or local high school, donating a few canned items is always a good place to start. For the largest food bank to donate to near campus, click here.

2. Eastern Illinois Food Bank
On December 2nd, participate in EIF’s Day of Giving, where you will have the opportunity to help drive out hunger and get to know more about the Champaign-Urbana community surrounding campus. Click here to find out more details, and their new school food drive campaign “Spread the Love.” Hint: it involves peanut butter.

Those In Need

Photo courtesy of eifoodbank.org

3. Volunteer at the Wesley Evening Food Pantry by unloading items and distributing food to those in need. A short orientation is required for first time volunteers, but otherwise you can sign up for as many times as you want, when you want, first come first serve. There are also volunteer opportunities held at Parkland College.

Those In Need

Photo courtesy of signupgenius.com

4. Office Of Volunteer Programs
The OVP helps and encourages UIUC students and staff to get involved and volunteer in the local community. This is a great page to browse and keep an eye on all year long.

Unfortunately, their annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive is over, but add a few toys to your Black Friday shopping list this year, and donate to the Holiday Toy Drive. If you donate an Easy Bake Oven or Mr. Potato Head…that still means it is food related right? 

Those In Need

Photo courtesy of union.illinois.edu