Ichabods In Depth

Published Oct. 29, 2012

Final push underway for Can Emporia

Can Emporia logo of soup canYou’ve only got until Friday at 5 p.m. to help Washburn Can Emporia.

The two universities are in the sixth year of an annual non-perishable food collection drive to benefit food banks in both communities. Washburn has won three of the previous five contests, but was soundly defeated last year, after Emporia State University partnered with a local radio station that had a long-standing food collection drive.

So, this year, said Chase Sachs, campus and community affairs director for the Washburn Student Government Association, the bar is really high. But, so is the need.

“It’s a lot more fuel to the fire for us. We have a little more incentive to win,” Sachs said. “But this is not so much about the competition with Emporia, but that there are people on the street in this community.”

Students are encouraged to bring cans to the WSGA office, in the lower level of the Memorial Union. Boxes are in offices around campus for the donations of faculty and staff members.

“If you bring five cans, you’re going to walk out of this office with something,” Sachs said. He contacted several local businesses for donations and received more donations than he anticipated. There are T-shirts, meal vouchers to local restaurants and more.

Donating money, rather than cans, also counts. According to the rules worked out between the student government presidents at both universities, $1 is worth 3 cans. There are other ways to help boost the can count, too. Sachs said because of specific need in both Emporia and Topeka, one jar of peanut butter counts as three cans, as does one box of cereal.

After 5 p.m. on Friday, Sachs will begin the process of counting cans and monetary donations to determine Washburn’s total collection. He expects it to take three days to tally the 10,000s. He said about 1,000 cans are expected from Christian Challenge alone. Washburn’s donations will benefit the Topeka Rescue Mission and Let’s Help.

The winning university’s student government president will pie his or her counterpart in the face during half-time of the Washburn vs. Emporia football game. The game begins at Yager Stadium at Moore Bowl at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10.Follow the details on Twitter at #CanEmporia2012.

“If you haven’t donated yet, do,” Sachs said. “We have to do this because there are people who are desperately hungry who need the support we give them.”