This week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, and the UF Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE, class is helping to fill the shelves of a local food bank.
The students will host a "Chomp Out Hunger" canned food drive for the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank from Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the Plaza of the Americas.
Matthew Kaufmann, a member of SIFE, said the organization is accepting canned goods and cash donations for the food bank.
The Bread of the Mighty's food supply is the lowest it has been in about eight years.
Kaufmann, a UF economics junior, said, "This is the week before Thanksgiving, and I think it's great that we're able to help out at this time."
SIFE students try to implement service projects with business goals in mind, Kaufmann said.
The five pillars they use for projects are market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and business ethics, the SIFE Web site stated.
SIFE has created a can collection competition among business organizations in the Warrington College of Business Administration, Kaufmann said.
Mentor groups of the Florida Leadership Academy, which provides business programs to UF sophomores, are also participating, he said. However, Kaufmann said the food drive represents more than learning about event planning and business goals.
Anne Voyles, director of Bread of the Mighty, said the food drive will help maintain the bank's supply of food for nonprofit organizations during the holiday.
SIFE's goal is to collect 1,500 cans of food, Kaufmann said.
"We just may be able to do some Thanksgiving boxes if this goes on," Voyles said.
If SIFE reaches its goal, the students will donate about one ton of food, she said.
The Thanksgiving boxes would be passed out to families who couldn't normally afford a holiday meal.
"I feel that a lot of people are praying for food to come in to feed the hungry people," Voyles said.