College breaks record in food drive donations

Food bank pick-up
A Bread of the Mighty food bank worker helps load food from the UF College of Veterinary Medicine on Dec. 17.

The UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s annual holiday food drive generated a record haul of 1,525 pounds of food and $1,905 in monetary donations for the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank—a cumulative impact of 20,425 meals for the hungry in our community.

For two years in a row, the college has been listed in the food bank’s “Top 10” holiday drives in terms of pounds of food collected. While rankings for 2020 are still being compiled, this year’s haul represents a 5.2% increase over 2019 in pounds of food gathered and breaks the college’s record for overall impact since it began conducting the holiday drive in 2011.

“Bread of the Mighty sends a huge shout-out to the UF College of Veterinary Medicine for another great holiday food and fund drive,” the food bank posted on its Facebook account on Dec. 24. “We are grateful for (the college’s) continued support of our mission to provide food and hope to those in need. UF Vet School rocks!”

Each year in November, the college starts promoting the drive internally, and distributes bins provided by the food bank throughout its various buildings, departments and the UF Veterinary Hospitals. Food is collected for a Thanksgiving pick-up, with bins remaining in the facilities for subsequent collection, culminating in a final pick-up just prior to the late December holiday break.

“Our holiday food drive has become a college tradition, and one we look forward to participating in each year,” said the college’s interim dean, Dr. Dana Zimmel. “The holiday food drive is an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment not only to pet health and veterinary student education, but also to the community as a whole. I am grateful to all who contributed to this year’s record success.”