The tallies for the 2022 Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger food drive are in, and the numbers are impressive. Last month, the Notre Dame community raised $23,269 and 140 pounds of food for the Michiana community, which amounts to 200,000 meals. This was accomplished through used book sales, art auctions, interoffice competitions and more. Donations were split between the Food Bank of Northern Indiana and United Way’s coalition of food pantries, People Gotta Eat.
“We are humbled by the ongoing commitment and passion Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger and the Notre Dame community have for fighting hunger in our community. This support helps us put food on the table and provide hope for those who need it most,” Marijo Martinec, the executive director and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, said.
Jim Baxter, the coordinator for People Gotta Eat, echoes that gratitude. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of people needing help this year over last year. We’re seeing increases from month to month. The need is higher than ever and we are so grateful to Notre Dame for their support.”
This year was the 12th annual University-wide food drive, and over that time, the University community has raised more than $280,000 and collected 15,000 pounds of food.
The 2022 drive was the last one chaired by Anne Kolaczyk, lead technical training professional in the Office of Information Technologies (OIT). Kolaczyk has chaired the last 11 drives, but she will retire from Notre Dame this summer. She has handed the baton to Whitney Young, interlibrary loan borrowing coordinator at the Hesburgh Library, who will lead FIFH going forward.
“The real work of the drive has always been the departmental volunteers and I am so grateful to them for their continued efforts,” Kolaczyk said. “I would also like to thank OIT and University leadership for their support of FIFH. My dream is that one day the need for the drive will be gone, but until then it’s wonderful to see the generosity of the Notre Dame community help our neighbors in need.