LINKS food drive assists those in need


Natalie Wilcox

The West Ottawa food drive has been running for years to come by multiple WO organizations; this year the LINKS program is organizing it. The food drive is an awesome program where WO citizens can give back to the community, and that impacts students and families first-hand. 

The drive is open now until May 13. Students and faculty members can drop off donations in Instructor Jenna Plewes’ room, A124 North, or the South office. All the items collected from the food drive are stored in the food pantry, open to students in need of non-perishable food items and hygiene products.

Listed below are high-need items to contribute.

Food: pudding, peanut butter/jelly, mac & cheese, cereal, Ramen noodles, pasta sauce, noodles, chips, hamburger helper, boxed potatoes, rice, granola bars, applesauce, crackers, packaged cookies, pop-tarts, oatmeal, taco seasoning, pancakes, cake mix, ravioli, spaghetti-o’s, canned chicken, canned fruit, fruit snacks, animal crackers, coffee, and marshmallows.

Toiletries: hairspray, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, face wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, toilet paper, paper towel, and dish soap.

West Ottawa instructor Beth Spreitzer is one of the staff members overseeing the food drive. She has seen firsthand the impact on WO students and families. “We have students that visit each week and some that just come occasionally, depending on the need at home.  Winter can be especially hard for families. The families are always so appreciative of the little help it provides.  It helps them and it gives us comfort knowing kids are not going hungry,” Spreitzer said.

An anonymous WO student explained how the food drive has impacted her life. “The food pantry has been really helpful because when my family leaves for work I can be independent and cook foods like soup that I got from the pantry. Also, when people can’t afford hygiene products, the pantry provides those for them.”

Announcements regarding competitions within the food drive will be posted on social media and WOBN.