Annual GSBS Cares Thanksgiving food drive gets off to a frightfully good start



Ghosts, goblins and ghouls were among the first to contribute to the annual Thanksgiving food drive sponsored by GSBS Cares, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Community Service Committee. Approximately 350 costumed characters donated 295 pounds of food at a Halloween party held on the Worcester campus on Friday evening, Oct. 29, in the Lazare Research Building.

This annual event, which is sponsored by UMass Medical School’s Graduate Student Body Council, served as the official kick-off for the food drive. “We were so impressed with everyone’s generosity,” said Jennifer Ziegenfuss and Carina Clingman, co-chairs of GSBS Cares. “The amount of food donated exceeded the amount collected at this event last year and puts us well on our way toward our goal of collecting 2 tons of food.”

Among the partygoers were students from GSBS, the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Nursing, almost all of whom got into the Halloween spirit by arriving in costumes. “The party prides itself as having a large number of very original costumes,” said Ziegenfuss. The award for best original costume went to David Wang, who came as “Terry the Teratoma.” Guests were asked to bring non-perishable food items to support the campaign.

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Donations will be collected until Nov. 24 and will benefit the Worcester County Food Bank, which collects donated food and grocery items and works with partner agencies to help feed hungry people in 60 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts.

Collection boxes will be available at the following locations:

  • UMass Medical School building on the Worcester campus
    • Main lobby
    • Student Affairs entrance
    • Clinical lot entrance
  • Lazare Research Building lobby
  • Biotech I, II, IV and V main lobbies
  • Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) main entrance
  • South Street campus in Shrewsbury

Recommended food items include:

  • Soup, stew and chili
  • Dry and canned pasta
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Cereal, rice and beans
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned tuna, chicken and salmon
  • Peanut butter and jelly (no glass, please)

Monetary donations are also welcome (checks should be made out to the Worcester County Food Bank) and can be given to a GSBS Cares representative.

For more information about the food drive, please contact GSBS co-chairs Jennifer Ziegenfuss ( or Carina Clingman (