Last semester, Seton Hall’s radio station, WSOU, held their fifth annual food drive as part of the “Students Change Hunger” program. WSOU collected 908 pounds of food for the Food Bank of New Jersey, surpassing their goal of 895 pounds, which was chosen based on its frequency, 89.5 FM.
Mark Maben, WSOU’s Station Manager, said this year had the most cans ever collected, as the previous highest record was 600 pounds of food from two years ago.
Maben said that five years ago, a WSOU alumn came to the station and asked if they wanted to participate in collecting food for the Food Bank of New Jersey. Maben said this is a great opportunity for the station because radio and television personnel have a long history of giving back to the community.
Maben said that efforts like the food drive are an essential part of the Seton Hall and radio communities, that also have an experiential learning component. These initiatives, Maben said, are beneficial no matter where WSOU staff end up working, knowing how to organize and execute these kinds of initiatives would be useful.
“Having this food drive is a reminder to the Seton Hall community that we’re more than what goes out over the airwaves here,” he said. “There’s no doubt that there’s a real positive benefit on the lives of people in our state through this effort.”
Jose Feliciano, a junior visual and sound media major, is the staff representative on the WSOU management board. Feliciano said he believes every radio station needs to be a part of a community, especially where people help one another.
Feliciano said that the staff representative of the WSOU Management Board is given the task of tracking the food drive, and he wanted to do more than the 300 pounds collected the semester before.
Feliciano said all the food that was donated was given by the 120 staff members at WSOU and a few alumni. He said he hopes to have another manager position on the board and push just as hard for the food drive next year.
Feliciano said the food bank was over the moon to see two cars loaded with WSOU donations drive up, and they have asked WSOU if they would help with organizing and packaging donations.
“One of the biggest mottos at the station is you get what you give, and I always try to give the most I can to this station,” Feliciano said.
Wilnir Louis, a sophomore sports management and marketing major, also played a major role in the food drive. Last semester was Louis’ first working at WSOU, and he said he thought it would be a great opportunity to step up.
Louis said that there are always going to be people in the community that are in need of food, and it takes a community effort to help them out. He added that it was a great experience to see how positively the food bank reacted to the amount of food they collected. Louis said, “For us to surpass our goal of 895 pounds was amazing.”
Veronica Gaspa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.