Bull Bucks Food Drive Raises nearly $30,000

Members of the USFSP Food Recovery Club gathering excess food from The Reef. Photo by the Crow's Nest.

Members of the USFSP Food Recovery Club gathering excess food from The Reef. Photo by the Crow’s Nest.

(Dec 13, 2017) – A USFSP student-led initiative to donate unused meal plan dollars to buy food for those in need this holiday season has raised more than $29,000. Roughly 170 students donated their extra funds, overwhelming estimates from those who organized the food drive.

“My expectations are blown out of the water with what we have raised,” said Byron Baugh, USFSP student government sustainable initiatives coordinator. “It is beyond what we could have imagined when we thought of this idea.”

USFSP meal plans are utilized at the university’s cafeteria, the Reef, and students often are left with dollars remaining in their account at the end of a semester. Working with Sodexo, the university’s dining services vendor, students developed the Bull Bucks Drive where during the last week of Fall semester students could donate any unused dollars to purchase food that would go to a local shelter.

The money raised will buy canned foods, pasta, cereals and other food items and will be donated to CASA, Community Action Stops Abuse, a local domestic violence center.

“This is the single largest food donation CASA has ever received in its entire 40 Year history,” said John Biesinger, CASA’s manager for major gifts. “The generosity of the USF St. Pete student body is simply incredible.  It will insure our 130+ participants and children experience a wonderful holiday season with full pantries and full stomachs.” 

“Engaging in activities like this requires an all hands on deck type of commitment,” said David Thompson, USFSP student government president. “I continue to be amazed by the hard work, charitable nature and dedication of our students.”

USFSP students running the Bull Bucks Drive will deliver the food donations to CASA this week. The drive was facilitated by USFSP Student Government, the Food Recovery Club, the Open Partnership Education Network and Sodexo.