Greek Row gave back this weekend in its first Canned Food Competition to #StrikeOutHunger in the Ozarks. On March 3, the Missouri Epsilon Chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity joined Ozark Food Harvest and the Missouri State University Bear’s baseball team to organize the competition between different fraternities and sororities on campus. The event created awareness for the countless number of hungry families living in the greater Ozark area and was remarkably successful. Contributions to the canned food drive exceeded expectations with an outpouring of support, participation, and donations from all members of MSU’s Greek community.
In total, Missouri Epsilon collected over 800 canned goods from local Greek chapters totaling more than 691 pounds of food. That 691 pounds of food will make roughly 575 meals to feed hungry families in the Ozarks. Southwest Missouri has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the state, meaning that families do not know where they will get their next meal. One in six families in Southwest Missouri are food insecure according to the Ozark Food Harvest’s website. Similarly, approximately 180,000 people do not know when exactly they will get to eat next. Even more daunting is the fact that one in four of these people are children.
Canned goods raised by the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and other Greek chapters on campus will be distributed by the Ozark Food Harvest to those in need. The organization has several means of distribution including a mobile food pantry, a Weekend Backpack Program for children, subsidiary food pantries and a Senior Food Box Program. The 800+ cans raised by MSU’s Greek community were collected at the Phi Delta Theta house by the Ozark Food Harvest on Monday, March 21 for distribution.
Winners of the Canned Food Competition were announced at the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity house on Saturday, March 19 during a barbeque celebrating the event. The Delta Zeta sorority placed first with the most cans donated, and the Alpha Chi Omicron sorority placed second. After winners were announced, all participants headed to the Bears’ baseball game. Tickets were provided for free courtesy of the baseball team. To top the day off, participants in the canned food drive had the pleasure of watching a 5-4 Bears win over Iowa State.