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The University of Saint Francis (USF) is involved with two projects that began in September to help local food banks and a shelter meet the challenges of providing food for families in need.

USF will launch its fifth annual USF Feeds the Fort food drive to meet a critical need in the city's food banks and soup kitchens in time for the holiday season. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, ceramics students in School of Creative Arts instructor Scott Ziegler's class will create 300 bowls to support the Empty Bowls fundraiser. The fundraiser supports food for Interfaith Hospitality Network, a Fort Wayne shelter that keeps homeless families together.

USF launches Feed the Fort with the goal of raising 35,000 food items to support its mission to provide for local residents in need.

The university invites the community to join the Feed the Fort effort. Collection barrels will be placed in buildings all across campus for food donations. Monetary donations can also be made. Checks and cash donations should be sent to the attention of Colleen Huddleson, University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts, 2701 Spring St., Fort Wayne, IN 46808 for distribution to the food banks. Huddleson can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

At the donor's discretion, checks can be made payable to the following organizations: Community Harvest Food Bank, 999 E. Tillman Road, Fort Wayne, IN  46816; St. Mary's Soup Kitchen, 1101 Lafayette St., Fort Wayne, IN  46802; or Associated Churches of Fort Wayne, 602 E. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, IN  46802.
Food banks and kitchens particularly need the following non-perishable items: rice, beans, canned foods, boxed foods, canned meats, peanut butter and powdered milk. Food in glass containers cannot be accepted.

Feed the Fort will wrap up on November 19 at the USF North Campus parking lot, when the campus community, food bank staff and directors and local volunteers collaborate to load the food on a truck for distribution to the food outlets. For more information, call the School of Creative Arts at (260) 399-7700, ext. 8001.

USF ceramics students created the bowls for the fundraiser in their class on Friday, September 21. Three weeks later, the bowls were fired and decorated. On the last two Sundays in October and the first two Sundays in November, participating churches will offer a meal of soup and bread for $10 per person, with no charge for children under age 5. The bowls will be sold for minimum $5 donations, but givers can donate any amount they choose.

Funds raised from the soup and bowl sales go to Interfaith Hospitality Network to feed and support its families, said Director Ahnee Conner. "Last year we raised $4,500-$5,000, but this year we have 10 churches involved, so we hope to double that," she said. Conner can be contacted at (260) 241.5613.

"These community service projects underscore our Franciscan values and immerse our students in the shared responsibility to care for one another," said university President Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF. "They demonstrate our mission to instill both values and wisdom through our education."


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