NIU fraternity collects a ‘ton’ of food in nationwide effort

By Grant Miller

An NIU fraternity recently discovered what it takes to collect 2000 pounds of food in one day.

The national chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity recently collected 227,646 pounds of non-perishable food for the needy just in time for Thanksgiving celebrations.

The NIU chapter of the fraternity was instrumental in the national effort by collecting 2000 pounds of food on Nov. 6.

The “Brothers Feeding Others” event was the first national philanthropy of its kind sponsored by the fraternity. The philanthropy was an international event that included fraternity chapters from Canada as well.

The DeKalb chapter donated their food to the DeKalb Salvation Army.

Thomas Helmbock, executive vice president of the national chapter, said the event was a good opportunity for fraternities to get involved with helping those in need.

“We’re showing what Lambda Chi Alpha stands for,” he said. “Thousands of fraternity men, out in their communities, helping those who are less fortunate.”

The NIU chapter of the fraternity dropped off 1000 paper bags donated by Jewel to different residences in the DeKalb area attached with a note asking for food donations. House President Ronald Metz said the idea was borrowed from the Boy Scouts.

“The national chapter left fraternities alone with how to collect the food,” Metz said. “We knew the Boy Scouts had a similar food drive every year where they would drop off bags at people’s houses and we thought it was a good idea.”

Fraternity members dropped the bags off at houses on Nov. 3 and picked up the bags of food on Nov. 6. Metz said about half of the houses participated in the event.

“About 50 percent of the houses donated food,” Metz said. “But the houses that did donate often donated more than just the one bag we gave them,” he continued. “A lot of times they would give us two or three bags filled with food.”

Metz said they were quite pleased when the house easily broke the 1000 pound goal it had originally set. Approximately 80 fraternity members helped organize the event.

Metz said he expects the fraternity to continue the philanthropy. “For the first year, everything went really well,” he said. “Since it was such a success nationally, I would think the nationals would want to keep it going next year and maybe even do it more often.”

“We’re showing what Lambda Chi Alpha stands for. Thousands of fraternity men, out in their communities, helping those who are less fortunate.