Will Hehemann | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Members of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Club (AFC) at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) recently filled a fishing boat with a variety of donations – everything from canned goods to kitchen and home goods – in the name of community service. All items collected during the “Stuff the Boat” event were donated to the Neighbor to Neighbor food pantry in Pine Bluff.
Clothing, baby food, children’s toys, laundry detergent, toiletries and toilet paper were among the items donated by staff and students of aquaculture/fisheries at UAPB. Larger donations included a sofa, a vacuum cleaner and a blender. Food and toiletries will be distributed through the food pantry and the other items will be sold by the thrift shop.
“We wanted to collect a little bit of everything,” Michele Thompson, an aquaculture/fisheries graduate student and coordinator of the event, said. “Many people go to food pantries from different situations and often need the everyday items we take for granted, so we decided to collect the kind of items we use in our own lives.”
Thompson said the AFC is often involved in volunteer projects, but this was the club’s first attempt at collecting items for a food pantry. She said she frequently collected for food pantries in her undergraduate years and thought it would be a good volunteer project. Most of the club’s other community activities include stream cleanups, fishing derbies and educational events such as helping with science fairs.
“We like to do a few social, skill-building, fundraising and volunteering events every semester,” Thompson said. “Helping the community is one of the main purposes of our club.”