UW-La Crosse fraternity holds food collection drive
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — La Crosse area families are having food on their table thanks to a UW-La Crosse fraternity.
UWL’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity partnered with WAFER Food Pantry and numerous area religious organizations to collect 1,212 pounds of food — nearly half of their initial goal.
“We recognize that times are tough, especially now, for the nearly 10% of people in La Crosse County who are food insecure,” said the group’s vice president of philanthropy and public relations Brandon Hawn. “Nationally, our philanthropy is Feeding America, but locally we work with WAFER Foods to do food drives and assist those who are food-insecure. We plan to partner with other organizations with similar missions in the future.”
The fraternity dropped off grocery bags in 15 La Crosse neighborhoods and 10 in Onalaska on Oct. 16. On Sunday, Oct. 25, Lambda Chi Alpha members canvassed the neighborhoods to collect the food and bring it to WAFER Foods.
Hawn, a fifth year political science major and public administration minor from Duluth, Minnesota, says the food drive fit the bill as a productive, safe activity for the fraternity’s members.
Hawn appreciates the community’s support in its food drive efforts. Among those assisting the fraternity were Festival Foods, DigiCOPY and partner churches.
“We have been limited in what we can do because of COVID, but we remain committed to both our volunteer work and helping to slow the spread by actively taking steps at our events to minimize transmission of this virus,” says Hawn. “All brothers are required to wear masks and physically distance while participating at an in-person philanthropy and volunteer opportunities.”
Hawn says the fraternity is not letting COVID break its spirit. Members plan to volunteer for Rotary Lights this winter, as well as doing more work with the Hunger Task Force and WAFER Foods. Hawn says the group typically volunteers at the Children’s Museum, and hopes to do that again when it reopens.
At four years on campus, Lambda Chi Alpha is one of UWL’s newest student organizations. The national social fraternity was founded in 1909 to promote a lifetime of “true brotherhood.” The fraternity has worked with Feeding America and its predecessor, the North American Food Drive, since 1993. The organization announced a partnership in 2019 with the JED Foundation, an organization aiming to protect emotional health and prevent suicide among teens.
The fraternity boasts an illustrious list of alumni, including President Harry Truman, Kenny Chesney, Psychologist B.F. Skinner, Former Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and General James Doolittle.