Coming together to give back

Catherine Kruse Evergreen reporter


Students and volunteers will come together at Zeppoz, but not for bowling. They will come for the eighth consecutive year to help Palouse residents in need.

Palouse Cares is a group of volunteers who offer a hand to the less fortunate by volunteering time and services to struggling families. For years, the group has hosted the food drive, which is set in Pullman, Moscow, Colfax, Genesee, and eleven other cities on the Palouse.

“We probably have between five and 600 volunteers, a majority from WSU,” said Rick Minard, the Palouse Cares board president. “We can’t thank the WSU student population enough for the help.”

Many of the students who assist with the food drive work through the Center for Civic Engagement, where they can support a good cause while also earning service hours. Volunteers arrive at Zeppoz to sign up and receive a map of the neighborhood they will visit. Then they go door-to-door to collect food, which they take to Zeppoz for loading.

“It’s so great watching all the students come Saturday at 9 a.m. They go out and gather food, and then come back to tell all these interesting stories,” said Amy Robbins, who works with the Community Action Center food bank.

The Community Food Bank is one of many benefactors of the money and food donations. Other organizations include Moscow Food Bank, Backyard Harvest and Friendly Neighbors.

After the food drive, Palouse Cares will hold a silent auction at 11 a.m. and a live auction at noon, both at Zeppoz. The items for sale will include Cougar gear, trips and toys. Many come from businesses around Pullman, and the money gathered will go to charity organizations benefited by the food drive.

“After the event’s over and we see how much the group has combined, it’s amazing to see how much we get in that short time span,” Minard said.

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