Students raise funds, food to battle food insecurity during canathon


Photo courtesy of Patrick Myers

FUNDRAISER FOR FOOD — Marquette Ending Hunger members Dallas Wiertella (left), Patrick Myers (center) and Sydney Butler (right) sell goodie bags in Jamrich on Nov. 29 for the TV6 canathon. All the money and food donated to the canathon go to support food pantries and families in need throughout the UP.

Katarina Rothhorn

Patrick Myers became aware of the prevalence of food insecurity in the UP as he was growing up in Houghton. The program 31 Backpacks provided Houghton students with a backpack full of food every week, and Myers started to notice how many of his peers were dependent on the service. 

“I saw a lot of people in my school that needed that service, and it was a really important part of a lot of people’s lives,” Myers said. “I’ve definitely had friends that only ate meals at school … I thought it was tragic that so many people even need that.”

Myers, now a fourth-year mobile and web app development major and co-president of Marquette Ending Hunger, has a goal to help reduce food insecurity throughout NMU and the UP. 

Marquette Ending Hunger, a student organization founded in 2014, is partnering with TV6 for its annual canathon to raise funds and non-perishable food for UP food pantries. On Nov. 29, Myers and other members of Marquette Ending Hunger made 50 holiday-themed goodie bags that they sold for $2 each to raise money for the canathon. 

“We sold out [of goodie bags] so it was really cool,” Myers said. “A lot of friends, club members, professors, acquaintances and people that we knew came by and they bought the bags, and they donated a few bucks.”

Marquette Ending Hunger has also set up boxes throughout campus to collect non-perishable food to donate to the canathon. The boxes will be collected on Dec. 6 and added to a larger donation of food that will be distributed to food pantries throughout the UP. People can also donate virtually through the TV6 canathon website

“I would encourage people to get out, if they have any non-perishable food items, throw them in a box,” Myers said. “It is a much larger issue than people realize. I would encourage people to donate what they can.”

For those that are in need of food, Myers encourages them to visit the NMU Food Pantry on campus, located in Gries Hall.

“The NMU Food Pantry is open to students and faculty, and they can get a free bag of food once a week,” Myers said. “With rising food costs and inflation all over the US, it’s not getting any easier for anyone. I think the food pantries are experiencing more need than usual and it’s even more important than normal.”