Pat Wynn, co-chair of the Cornell United Way Campaign, sorts food with Leslie Meyerhoff, director of assessment and planning for Student and Campus Life, and Susan Riley, deputy director for community relations, at the 2018 Day of Caring.

Day of Caring draws attention to local needs

Tables were covered with nonperishable food items and personal care, pet and school supplies in the main pavilion at Stewart Park in Ithaca Sept. 18, marking the annual Stephen E. Garner Day of Caring.

The food drive is named for a former local United Way volunteer who, according to James Brown, president of the United Way of Tompkins County, “made a difference in our organization and in the lives of people in our community.” The drive draws attention to the needs of many residents in Tompkins County and surrounding areas. Donated items go to local food pantries and community organizations in Ithaca and such neighboring towns as Caroline, Dryden, Freeville, Newfield and Trumansburg.

This year, four local organizations were recognized as Food Challenge Caring Champions for the donations to the drive: Cornell University, Holt Architects, Maguire Family of Dealerships and Tompkins Trust Co.

“This food will make a difference in the lives of Tompkins County residents, many of whom rely on our food pantries to make it through each month with wholesome and healthy food,” Brown said.

The Homecoming 5k Run – scheduled for Sept. 22, 8:30-9:30 a.m., in the F.R. Newman Arboretum, Cornell Botanic Gardens – will benefit the Cornell United Way campaign.

Cornell officially kicks off its 2018 campaign Sept. 26, 4-5:30 p.m., with a celebration in the Memorial Room of Willard Straight Hall with music, dancing, stand-up comedy and storytelling, and refreshments served by Cornell Catering. RSVP to by close of business Monday, Sept. 24.

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Lindsey Knewstub