Saint Leo University students joined in the Farm Share food distribution on May 20 with Florida Representative Randy Maggard and Pasco County Board of County Commissioners Chair Mike Moore at the Shops at Wiregrass mall in Wesley Chapel, FL.

Cars lined up near the distribution point as Saint Leo students joined others to distribute much-needed food as Pasco County, FL, residents deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are out of work and need assistance. True to the university's core values, Saint Leo students stepped up to help.

More than 50 volunteers, including the Saint Leo students, handed out 33,000 pounds of food to about 700 people. The volunteers wore masks and followed Centers for Disease Control protocols as they loaded the food into recipients' vehicles at the drive-thru event.

"I was proud to partner with State Representative Randy Maggard, the Shops at Wiregrass and Farm Share to provide food for our community," Moore said. "We know our citizens are hurting right now and the number of people who came through shows the need in our area.

"I greatly appreciate the hard work the Saint Leo students put in volunteering with the Farm Share food distribution," he continued. "They worked in roles from bagging food to directing traffic to placing food in vehicles. Pasco County is a community that cares and volunteering to help others shows that."

Saint Leo student-volunteers included Jack Shaw, Alexandra Joseph, Luke D'Ambrosio, Nathalia Sanfiel, Kylie Hamacher, Xavier Reyes, and Ashley Butler.

Tampa Bay-area TV station Bay News 9 covered the event, and viewers can catch a glimpse of Saint Leo students in action. Farm Share receives produce and meat donated from farmers around Florida, the story noted. Since the pandemic started, Farm Share has distributed 22 million pounds of food across the state.

"Saint Leo University has the kindest student body in the country," Saint Leo President Jeffrey D. Senese said about the volunteer effort. "In addition to caring about each other, community service is a part of their student experience and something they are very much committed to do to take care of others."