In conjunction with National Food Day on Oct. 24, the Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Club and the dietetics and nutrition program at Northeastern State University encourages local participation in the End Hunger Games food drive.
Campus groups and local businesses and organizations are invited to collect non-perishable food items for donation at Norris Park on Oct. 24 from 3-3:30 p.m. during the Tahlequah Food Day Celebration. Donations go to the Tahlequah Area Food Pantry.
"Many other activities are planned for contributors when they arrive to turn in their donations," said Cassandra Crawford, faculty organizer of the End Hunger Games. "There will be a pumpkin decorating contest and Tahlequah Community Garden will hold a seed starting. We will also announce the results of our local cook-off."
Crawford said local restaurants will receive baskets of healthy food and create a recipe for the cook-off. Results will be judged at Norris Park and the best recipe will be published in the Tahlequah Daily Press on Oct. 25.
The Tahlequah Farmers Market is also a sponsor of the event and will participate in the Norris Park activities. Other sponsors include Sustainable Tahlequah, the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce, Tahlequah Main Street Association, Tahlequah Community Garden, the Cherokee Nation's Healthy Nation Initiative and the NSU Permaculture Club.
The group with the most items collected will be announced around 6 p.m. and have names engraved on the End Hunger Games plaque. The drive is intended for businesses and organizations, but individual donations are welcome.
Students of the Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Club and the dietetics and nutrition program will assess donation amounts to determine the winner. Faculty organizer of the Tahlequah Food Day Celebration is Mark Carper, assistant professor of geography.
The goal of National Food Day is to promote locally grown foods and healthy eating, and Crawford said the End Hunger Games event sought to support the local food industry in addition to aiding those in need.
"It is important that we know which foods are available locally and how to use those products in healthy recipes," she said. "The activities at End Hunger Games are designed to help the community learn ways of doing so. We firmly believe that nutrition is aided greatly when people know how to eat healthy at home."
For more information about End Hunger Games at NSU, call Crawford at (918) 444-2965 or Carper at (918) 444-3518.