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2007.04.04 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Students to Bring Awareness to Homelessness

Omaha - Students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will discover what it might be like to be homeless during “Just Can It,” the week of April 16.

Members of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and Alpha Xi Delta sorority are leading the challenge to collect thousands of canned food items for The Salvation Army Food Pantry and its North Omaha Feeding Program.  No Frills Supermarkets, Tenaska, Two Men and a Truck, and Channel 94.1 are sponsoring the fourth annual food drive.

The drive runs from Monday, April 16, through Friday, April 20. Donations of food may be dropped off on the UNO campus or at any local No Frills Supermarket.  Salvation Army blue barrels, identified with the Army's familiar red shield, will be on UNO's main campus and inside each No Frills Supermarket.  No Frills will accept donations from the public April 11-24.

About 25 to 30 UNO students will be "homeless" outdoors in the UNO Pep Bowl, just north of Caniglia Field, each night of the collection week.  Their homes will be converted cardboard boxes. Students have planned a variety of activities to attract interest and donations of food.

The Tenaska Business Challenge, a corporate effort to collect food for The Salvation Army, will also again be held this year.  Employees of Tenaska and designated neighboring businesses will collect donations from April 16-20.

The food drive will officially kick off during a brief ceremony on the UNO Henningson Plaza (south of the Milo Bail Student Center) on Monday, April 16, at noon.  UNO Interim Chancellor John Christensen will attend the event along with a representative from Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey's office, Salvation Army divisional commander Col. William Harfoot, other event sponsors and several Salvation Army representatives.

During the ceremony, the Pancake Man will serve hotcakes to the crowd. Students will be accepting donations all day Monday and each day and night of the week.  Special activities will take place each night, including a house-building contest, skits, flag football, a scavenger hunt, kickball and the "Golden Can" competition.

The Salvation Army is participating in the Feinstein Foundation's challenge to help fight hunger.  Donations of food (valued at 50 cents per can) and cash to “Just Can It” will be matched by dollars from the foundation.  For more information, visit http://www.feinsteinfoundation.org.

The Salvation Army's food pantry and North Omaha feeding program provide food to hungry individuals, families and children in Omaha who might otherwise go without.  The Army encourages the public to contribute non-perishable foods such as beans, pasta, tuna, peanut butter, baby food, diapers, canned fruits and vegetables, cereal and soup.  Monetary donations provide the most flexibility to purchase what is needed most and may be sent to The Salvation Army, 3612 Cuming St., Omaha, NE, 68131. Donations are accepted online at http://givesalvationarmy.org.

For more information, call (402) 554-3502.

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