William Woods University students combat county hunger

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FULTON - William Woods University students kicked off their CourtWarming Tuesday evening with a food drive and movie night.

CourtWarming is a university tradition that organizers said helps bring the campus together. Organizers gave the 2015 CourtWarming a 'Hunger Games' theme, after the popular movie franchise. 

To support the 'Hunger Games' theme, students donated canned goods and non-perishable food items before watching the first film of the movie triology.

"We liked to use the opportunity to raise awareness about hunger in our community," Stephanie Behlmann, with the WWU Student Alumni Council, said. "I think its very eye-opening, especially for the students who aren't orginally from Fulton. We have such a community feel at this univeristy anyway, it's really great whenever we get the chance to volunteer out in Fulton."

Mark Webb, an intern at SERVE and its local food bank, spoke to the around 70 students who attended. He shared how hunger impacts hundreds of families in Callaway County and around mid-Missouri. Webb said each month 400 families use SERVE services. 

"SERVE seems to be one of the bigger agencies in Fulton and the Callaway County area just because we serve such a large clientle over multiple areas," he said. "It's not just a food pantry. It's not just a transportation service. It's all of the above."

He said SERVE also partners with other agencies to serve the community even further.

Behlmann said Tuesday's event was the first of several activities planned throughout the week.

"William Woods doesn't exactly have a football team so CourtWarming is what we do to bring the school together and support our basketball players," Behlmann said.

The main event of CourtWarming is a pep rally at the basketball game Friday.