The staff of Transportation & Parking Services (TPS) will try to show campus ’tis better to give than to receive this holiday season, as part of the Fourth Annual Campus Cares canned food drive.
The drive, sponsored by TPS, starts today and will run through Dec. 16. Elena Ricci, coordinator of the drive, said donations will be collected at the TPS office, the University Plaza, the UCen and the kiosk at the east entrance of campus between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. All canned items collected will go to the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County.
“The Santa Barbara Food Bank gives to very, very low-income people in the county,” Ricci said.
Ricci, a TPS financial specialist, said the TPS has donated the canned goods it collects to the Santa Barbara County Food Bank for the last three years.
“The first year we collected 500 pounds of food, the following year we collected 1,500 pounds of canned goods, and last year we collected 2,164 pounds of canned goods,” Ricci said. “Our goal this year is to have 3,000 pounds to donate.”
Joyce Lopez, assistant coordinator of the food drive, said she thinks that it is important that TPS take part in local efforts to provide relief to those in the community.
“We want to take care of our community,” Lopez said. “There are other people helping outside the community but we want to help Santa Barbara.”
In addition to helping people in need, Lopez said, organizing and executing the canned food drive help put TPS employees in more of a holiday spirit.
“It’s a moral boost around the office,” Lopez said. “We really appreciate the campus staff, faculty and students for helping out.”
Ricci said she also thinks the drive, which was created four years ago by former TPS Director Tom Roberts, gives the TPS staff a chance to collaborate their efforts for a positive cause.
“Parking puts their hearts and souls into this,” Ricci said. “The whole department gets together loading the food into boxes and then the boxes into the trucks.”
Support from UCSB students and faculty members, Ricci said, is always welcome.
“The university community has been so generous,” Ricci said. “It’s nice to do something positive.”