Sigma Alpha Lambda leads national food drive

GVL / Courtesy  
Sigma Alpha Lambda food drive

GVL / Courtesy Sigma Alpha Lambda food drive

Suzanne Stocking

The Grand Valley State University chapter of Sigma Alpha Lambda is leading the way in the sixth annual national Food Fight Against Hunger. Each year, Sigma Alpha Lambda chapters from colleges around the country compete to see who can collect the most non-perishable food items for their local food pantries.

The GVSU chapter has currently collected over 550 items, more than any of the other 60 schools competing.

Last year, the chapter collected 970 food items, and they have a good chance of winning again this year, said Ranelle Brew, the faculty adviser for the honors organization.

“Right now we are hundreds of items ahead of the other schools,” Brew said. “We like to be on that list of chapters that won.”

Brew attributes their success to the students involved.

“They really try to encourage other students to participate,” she said.

Zac Bassler, who has been president of the GVSU chapter of Sigma Alpha Lambda for two years, said student involvement in the food drive plays a large part in their success.

“We just have a lot of involvement throughout our chapter,” Bassler said. “We’re able to do food drives (at Family Fare) for eight hours at a time because we have members who are willing to come volunteer, and we also have members bring in food at every monthly meeting. We have a lot of people who contribute.”

The food items collected by Sigma Alpha Lambda’s food drive are donated to the Westminster Presbyterian Church downtown food pantry in Grand Rapids.

The food pantry is open to everyone downtown and provides an emergency supply of food and personal care products for people in need.

“They help out a lot of underprivileged and homeless people,” Bassler said.

In addition to their food drives, Sigma Alpha Lambda also collects food items at their monthly meetings. The Food Fight Against Hunger continues until Dec. 1.

Sigma Alpha Lambda is a national leadership and honors society. Members are invited to join if they have sophomore status or higher and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. For more information, visit

For those who would like to donate nonperishable items, email Zac Bassler at [email protected].