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New Technology Combines with Old Tradition to Help Community

Posted on 9 October 2012 | 8:30 am

The College of Charleston Greek community will be one of the first groups in the nation to operate an online food drive competition, as part of the annual Pep Supper being held on November 6, 2012. Working with, participants will be able to track exactly how many pounds of food each competing group has collected, in many cases increasing the total. The food drive will begin on October 9, 2012 and end on November 6, with all food being given to the Lowcountry Food Bank.

The food drive is part of the tradition at Pep Supper, which dates back to the 1920s. Last year, more than 24,000 lbs. of food were collected for the Lowcountry Food Bank.  According to Amy Kosar, of Lowcountry Food Bank, “With the slow economy, there are so many people who need help with food.  It’s been great for us to know that each fall we are going to get a boost from the College of Charleston community.”

This fall, the tradition will continue, but with a new twist. The fraternities and sororities that are part of the College’s Greek Life will set up online food drives at, a company founded by the father of a sorority member at the College of Charleston.

“Our students are excited about both the opportunity to be involved with a fellow student’s family and also to use this new technology,” says Katherine Pezzella, assistant director of Greek life. “Technology is deeply woven into how students do nearly everything so YouGiveGoods is a perfect fit for them.  It allows them to use social media and emails to spread the word about their drive and provides constant feedback to the students via the Contest Leaderboard and Drive Pages so they can track their progress. I think this system is really going to boost the energy and intensity of the competition this fall, which will ultimately be measured in literal tons of food donated to the Lowcountry Food Bank.”

According to YouGiveGoods’ CEO, Patrick O’Neill, groups that use both an online drive and a traditional drive get between five and 20 times more food. “We developed our contest system to solve one of the problems with a traditional food drive contest – it’s very hard to know how the competition is going until the end, when all of the food gets weighed or counted. “ He continues, “Every contest on our website has a Leaderboard – a webpage that shows how much food each competing drive has raised – in real time.  It enables the whole community participating in the competition to see what’s happening as it happens – kind of like watching the scoreboard at a sporting event.”

For more information about Pep Supper, contact Katherine Pezzella at 843.953.6320 or

If you would like more information how you can help the Lowcountry Food Bank, contact Amy Kosar at 843.747.8146 x 108 or

For more information about YouGiveGoods, contact Michael Connell at 973.800.8778.

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