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Annual Adopt-a-Basket Program Helps UM Feed Area Families

By Edwin B. Smith

University of Mississippi

As the winter holidays draw near, the University of Mississippi community is working together to provide meals for area families in need.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the 17th Adopt-a-Basket program is accepting food donations on the first floor of the Gertrude C. Ford Ole Miss Student Union in the leadership and engagement space, inside the Fraternity and Sorority Life office. Collection times are noon to 4 p.m. daily through Nov. 19.

The event is co-sponsored by the Associated Student Body and the Gertrude C. Ford Ole Miss Student Union.

“We’re seeking to provide baskets for as many in the LOU community that need one,” said Devika Ganapathy, of Kennesaw, Georgia, a senior early education major and program coordinator. “Like last year, we are adhering to families’ dietary and cultural needs.”

Any individual or group interested in participating in this initiative is encouraged to sponsor an entire basket rather than individual items. The list of accepted items for a basket includes:

  • 2 cans corn 
  • 2 cans green beans 
  • 2 onions 
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk or 1 can coconut milk (low-fat or regular)
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable broth 
  • Bag of marshmallows 
  • 1-pound bag brown sugar 
  • 1-to-2-ounce container ground cinnamon 
  • 1-ounce bottle vanilla extract 
  • 5 pounds sweet potatoes 
  • 5-pound bag potatoes 
  • 5-pound bag sugar 
  • 5-pound bag cornmeal 
  • 1 container rolled oats 
  • 1 bag almond flour 
  • 1-pound bag lentils (any kind) 
  • $25 gift card to Walmart, Cashsaver or Kroger, to purchase perishable items

Monetary donations – preferably by check or gift card – are also welcome to sponsor baskets in lieu of shopping for the items.

Additional items welcome are sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, disposable masks for adults and children, cloth face masks, and disinfectant spray.

The event has provided meals for hundreds of families over the last several years.

“Adopt-a-Basket facilitates university students, faculty and staff purchasing and donating baskets of goods to support families in the LOU community with a meal and additional goods during the holiday season,” said Haley Anderson, assistant director of leadership programming. “Several campus offices and groups serve as supporting campus partners in this effort.”

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