OLEAN, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure University’s students and faculty members participated in a recent holiday donation project initiated by St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute near Buffalo, N.Y., that helped a non-profit group of the university’s, an institution in the area.
The SBU volunteers helped 40 students from St. Joseph’s unload a truckload of 940 boxes of food items for SBU’s Warming house in Olean. This was the 25th year that students from the Kenmore, N.Y., boys high school contributed to the Warming House, the nation’s oldest college student-run soup kitchen.
Chuck Ende, a history teacher at St. Joe’s, who started the food donation drive 37 years ago, said the Warming House has been the primary recipient of the students’ generosity for the past 25 years.
The donation provides about 90 percent of the non-perishable stock for the year at The Warming House, said director Trevor Thompson. On Dec. 21, the soup kitchen was given 48,500 non-perishable food items.
Approximately 350 more boxes were donated to five soup kitchens in the Buffalo area and the Vietnam veterans’ group in Tonawanda, Ende said.
Called the St. Joseph’s Food Basket, the donation effort is student-driven, running for three weeks right after Thanksgiving, Ende said. This was the first year St. Joe’s sent so many students to actually make the delivery to Olean.