‘Kiss the Pig’ contest raises over $3,000 for NSU Food Pantry

Stakes were high when Northwestern State University President Dr. Marcus Jones and Dean of Students Reatha Cox were challenged to put their money where their mouth is in a campus fund raiser to benefit the NSU Food Pantry. Students in the President’s Leadership Program organized a Kiss the Pig contest, pitting Jones against Cox to see who could garner the most online monetary donations.

With special guest Chocolate the pig in attendance Tuesday, student organizers announced that the contest was a draw. Jones and Cox raised more than $3,000 combined and donations were still coming. Students Raygan Ray of Many, Hannah Davis of Hammond, Daija Ware of Opelousas and Jon Elise Sturgeon of St. Francisville, who organized the event as a community impact project, said cash and donations of toiletries and other items were still being accepted.

Chocolate was by far the star of the show, dolled up with purple and orange ribbons, she was managed expertly by her handler, 6-year-old Cannon Johnson, whose family volunteered Chocolate for the appearance. Cannon is the son of Josh and Christina Johnson of Natchitoches.

Jones lauded the students for finding a creative way to bring awareness to food insecurity, which affects about 30 percent of college students and has been exacerbated by COVID.

“It’s a fun way to draw awareness to the issue,” Jones said.

The NSU Food Pantry was created in 2015 by social work students who identified a need among their peers and organized the pantry to provide non-perishable food, kitchen items, utensils, cleaning supplies, toiletries, t-shirts and personal care items to NSU students free of charge. The goal of The Pantry is to address food insecurity, feed student success and create a community of compassion.

Those who wish to support The Pantry can do so by individual donations of items, financial donations or sponsoring a fundraiser or food and toiletries drive. Financial donations can be sent to the NSU Foundation with funds dedicated to The Pantry, 535 University Parkway, Natchitoches, LA. 71497. Donations are tax deductible. For more information call (318) 357-5523.

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