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Chico State

Greek Week Yields Over $13,500 to Benefit University’s Chico Cares Campaign

Dozens of fraternity and sorority members stand amid their elaborate designs put together from canned and non-perishable food items.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Greek life and Cal Fresh collaborated for the annual CANstruction event, a food drive that builds themed structures out of the collected food cans as part of Greek Week in line with The Chico Experience Week.

As part of Greek Week from Oct. 8-12, sororities and fraternities at California State University, Chico teamed up to help their fellow students and raised more than $13,500, benefiting the University’s Chico Cares campaign.

Chico Cares is the annual fundraising drive of the Chico State Basic Needs Project, which strives to serve students suffering from food and housing insecurity.

Abbie Page, program coordinator in Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, noted that one of the Greek community’s strengths is they understand that so many of their peers struggle with proper nutrition and stable housing—and they take action to help.

“The students see, through their hard work and cooperation, that they can make a difference and how rewarding it is to give back and see the positive results of the campus’s efforts to address this,” Page said.

Over the last two years, Greek teams during Greek Week have generated nearly $30,000 to support their fellow students.

“This is a national example of student philanthropy that we can all be proud of,” Page added.

Through team fundraising efforts this year, nearly 350 individuals made financial contributions to Chico Cares:

  • The team comprised of Sigma Kappa, Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Nu led the week’s effort, raising $5,336.35
  • Gamma Phi Beta, Gamma Zeta Alpha, Phi Kappa Tau, and Delta Xi Phi collected $3,064.75
  • Alpha Phi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Kappa Sigma collected $2,850

Other teams included Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Sigma Phi, Delta Chi, Sigma Alpha, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Lambda Chi Alpha, Lambda Sigma Gamma, Alpha Omicron Pi, Sigma Pi, and Lambda Theta Nu. Collectively they raised $2,285.38 for the campaign.

In addition to raising funds, the Greek community also hosted its annual CANstruction event, during which Greek teams competed to create large, artistic displays built out of canned and non-perishable foods. This year, the Greek community collected more than 3,750 food items, enough for approximately 2,500 meals, all of which went directly to the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry.

“We extend our appreciation to all the Greek team members who contributed to make Greek Week such a philanthropic success and to all the hundreds of donors who have made financial contributions,” said Basic Needs Administrator Joe Picard,. “Simply, our pantry shelves would be empty without the support of our students.”

In January 2018, the California State University released a systemwide Study of Student Basic Needs that documented what our University had already recognized: approximately 50 percent of CSU, Chico students – an estimated 8,000 – experience low to very low food security, and an estimated 500 students will become displaced or homeless sometime during this academic year.

Last year’s Chico Cares campaign raised $72,000 to support more than 4,000 students through the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry’s distribution of 35 tons of nutritious food and the provision of short-term and transitional housing support and small emergency grants.

The goal of this year’s campaign is to surpass $75,000 by Giving Tuesday, November 27, 2018. All funds go directly toward students in the support of the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry and basic needs support services for displaced and homeless students.

Support Chico Cares online or text “chicocares” to 71777 on your mobile device. Students can join the cause by visiting the Student Philanthropy Council website.