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    Spitz Foundation Grant Supports University Program

    The University of Scranton received a $2,500 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation to support its We Care Wednesday’s food donation program, which prepared and distributed more than 2,000 ready-to-eat meals to those in need. From left: Frank Caputo, grants and communications coordinator, Scranton Area Community Foundation; Meg Hambrose, director of corporate and foundation relations, The University of Scranton; Laura Ducceschi, president/CEO Scranton Area Community Foundation, administrator of Robert H. Spitz Foundation; and Jack Nogi, trustee, Robert H. Spitz Foundation.
    October 1, 2021

    The University of Scranton received a $2,500 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation to support its We Care Wednesday’s program, which is an initiative to provide meals to those most in need in the Scranton area. The program is unlike other food giveaway projects in that the ready-to-eat meals are delivered to those without transportation or the means to prepare food.

    The program, organized by the Center for Service and Social Justice and EFFORT (Excess Food For Others Recovery Team), was started in 2020 as a way to bring members of campus together for a service project while meeting the health and safety requirements established during the pandemic.

    The program was so well received that it surpassed its original plan of preparing five grab-and-go meals a week. In September alone, 240 grab-and-go meals were organized and distributed to local agencies including the Community Intervention Center in Scranton. During the fall semester, members of the University community provided more than 600 meals, including a roast beef holiday lunch at the end of the semester. During spring semester, the program expanded to include a meal on Thursdays. In total, more than 2,000 grab and goal meals were prepared during the 2020-2021 academic year.

    Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, University faculty, staff and students donated time and funding to prepare salads, meals and desserts. A team of students volunteered for one-hour shifts in small socially distant groups to make the final preparations for the meals, which often included cards with inspirational messages and homemade gifts like bracelets and keychains from students. Meal bags also often included a variety of snacks (cereal, fresh fruit, granola bars) and COVID- care items such as masks, paper products or hand sanitizer, collected by the Center for Service and Social Justice and EFFORT.

    Support from the Spitz Foundation will be used support the continuation of the successful program for the 2021-2022 academic year.

    The Robert H. Spitz Foundation is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports initiatives and programs serving the residents of Lackawanna County and Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as the administrator of the Robert H. Spitz Foundation.

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