By Wendy Ekua Quansah
SETON HALL UNIVERISTY – JANUARY 15, 2013 – On Monday, the first day of the spring semester, Seton Hall students carrying thousands of pounds of non-perishable food items stuffed a Community FoodBank of New Jersey truck for Hurricane Sandy relief. The event also helped to replenish the FoodBank, which lost over 100,000 lbs of food during the storm.
“In the business school, we teach the importance of relationships. ‘Stuff the Truck’ is the result of a successful market research project with the FoodBank,” said Adam Warner, director of the Market Research Center at the Stillman School of Business. “When Sandy hit, we knew the magnitude of the devastation, so we called up the FoodBank and asked what we could do to help.”
Senior Business Leadership Development student, Sean Daudelin, knows firsthand the importance of relationships. He credits his market research project experience with the FoodBank early last semester for motivating him and other Stillman students to organize a successful event.
“We went to the FoodBank and saw the warehouse. We know what 100,000 lbs of food looks like and had an estimate of what needed to be replaced,” he said.
The FoodBank, which helps feed 900,000 low-income people in 18 of New Jersey’s 21 counties, turned into a 24/7 hour operation because of Sandy said Richard Uniacke, director of Marketing at the FoodBank.
Uniacke, who worked closely with market research students months prior to Sandy, said the collaboration to replenish stocks of food after the devastation of the hurricane with Stillman students was a “happy instance of good timing.”
It’s also a win-win situation said Joyce Strawser, dean of Stillman School of Business. “What we try to do at the business school is instill a sense of obligation and love for the community. This event not only met that obligation, but there was so much learning in planning the event.”
She said, “Our students figured out the strategy, logistics, and cooperation between the FoodBank.”
Despite the challenges of planning an event over winter break, Business Leadership Development student, Sophia Joseph, said an on-campus initiative was a perfect decision.
“This initiative on-campus opens up a world of opportunities to receive more food and monetary donations,” said the freshman.
Students who were unable to pick up groceries had the option of donating cash, swiping their Pirates Gold card, or texting donations to “80888.”
“We filled nearly the entire truck. People walking by were very enthused,” said Tyler Orner, freshman Business Leadership Development student.
“Seton Hall has created a good atmosphere, both on and off-campus, to give back,” he added.