13 December 2022 • Service Holiday Giving

Annual student food drive to provide 40 ham roasts to Geneva Center of Concern.

Each year, HWS’ Sodexo food service partners with the Geneva Center of Concern to raise funds to purchase turkeys or ham roasts for the non-profit organization’s holiday food and gift drive. This year, a team of seven students led by Sodexo Marketing Manager Shana Cleveland raised $768 that will be used to purchase 40 ham roasts. The hams will be delivered on Friday, Dec. 16 to the Center and will be included in boxes of food and gifts provided to local families, many with small children, who sign up for the winter holiday program.

Sodexo interns Josh Barclay ’23, Richard Centeno ’24, Jasmin Diaz Flores ’24, Elijah Fontem ’24, Hannah Haines ’25, Star Peña ’23 and Clyde Williams ’24 urged students, faculty and staff to donate to the program and are grateful for their generosity. Each donation was recognized with a yellow coin added to the wall to help fill the piggy bank at Saga Dining Hall’s main entrance.

Fontem says he participated in the effort to help those in need. “I am proud to have been a part of this effort and I am sure that it will make a positive impact on our community,” he says.

Peña agrees. “As a college student in Geneva I feel that I have a moral commitment to uplift and volunteer in the Geneva community,” Peña says. “I am also passionate about diversity and inclusion and know that initiatives such as this fundraiser will help close the "access gap" for people from different socioeconomic statuses.” 

Cheryl Toor, the director of the Geneva Center of Concern, is grateful for the Colleges’ annual participation in the program. “Obtaining holiday meat (turkeys and hams) for our program is a great boost to our families' food packages. Each year not only do the Colleges gather donations and purchase the meat, they also time the delivery to coincide with our packing and distribution dates. Delivering quality meat at a time when our crews are very stretched is a wonderful service. We greatly appreciate Shana and all those at HWS who have made Operation Merry Christmas remain successful in this our 50th year!” Toor says.

Founded in 1972 by the Human Development Committee of St. Stephen’s Church, the Geneva Center of Concern operates a food pantry and thrift store, serving those in need in the community.

In the photo above, Clyde Williams ’24, Elijah Fontem ’24, Sodexo Marketing Manager Shana Cleveland, Hannah Haines ’25 and Josh Barclay ’23 gather in celebration of a successful food drive for the Geneva Center of Concern.