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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Students Launch Thanksgiving Food Drive for Katrina Victims

FORT MYERS, FL - Bonnie Lacagnina's vision is to collect enough food to feed Hurricane Katrina victims who evacuated to Southwest Florida. The idea came to her as she pondered a project for her Foundations of Civic Engagement class with Dr. Craig Heller.

"I was motivated by maternal instincts and simply had to do something to help them," says Lacagnina. "This was a dire situation where people of all ages were dying and they desperately needed humanitarian assistance."

Acting on her desire to help, Lacagnina began planning the food drive as a part of her class assignment. She contacted the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida and began planning in concert with the organization that will distribute the food collected.

Lacagnina's classmates immediately embraced the project and wrote of their strong commitment to it. A special classmate, Holly Goller, is one of eight students accepted at FGCU under the in-state tuition offered to Katrina displaced students.

Having witnessed first-hand the devastation of Katrina, Goller is highly motivated to participate in this project. "With all the turmoil and confusion in their lives, they deserve, at the very least, to have a warm meal and water," says Goller. "My goal is to help these people because we have all been displaced at some point in our lives, and not knowing where to call home is one of the most disheartening experiences a person could ever have."

Lacagnina's food drive has developed into a campus wide project with the expectation of broad participation from both the campus and the external community.

Appropriately named the Thanksgiving Food Drive, the project is accepting nonperishable food items from October 3 through November 21. Items in greatest demand are peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, canned meats, bean, vegetables, stews, soups, baby food, water and rice. Personal hygiene items are also in great demand.

FGCU collection bins are located at the following campus sites: Student Union, Howard Hall, McTarnaghan Hall, Griffin Hall, Academic III, Whitaker Hall, Reed Hall and the library.

For further information please contact director of Civic Engagement Linda Summers at or (239) 590-7016.

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