Saint Mary's Graduate Business Alumni gathered together on Wednesday, March 14th at the Contra Costa County Food Bank in Concord, CA. The event was part of the ongoing SERVE program, a function of the Graduate Business School that encourages Saint Mary's graduate business students and alumni to give something back to the community. A handful of students ranging from recent alumni to those who graduated over twenty years ago was one in a number of events benefiting the Contra Costa food bank and its effort to provide foods and services to local shelters and food banks.

The Contra Costa Food Bank is part of the Feed America program, a food drive initiative strongly supported by Kraft Foods Inc. It is part of a network of food banks located in the Bay Area that the Saint Mary's School of Economics and Business Administration has aided in its SERVE program, including facilities in San Jose, San Francisco, and Solano County. Alumni help in the daily services of the food bank, collecting, organizing and sorting canned goods from local food drives that will then be distributed to local food shelters and soup kitchens.

"This is why we went to Saint Mary's," said Faculty Alumni Advisor Mike Leary, "to give something back to the community." Leary, who has worked at numerous SERVE events including previous events at the Contra Costa Food Bank, commends the "incredible group" of alumni that participate in these events, with upwards of 40 alumni from all years that have lent their services to past events such as the Christmas food drive. "The people you meet [in the program and at events] will be friends for life."

Chris Agnew, an alumni participant on Wednesday said, “I have not done as much volunteering as I would like over the years, often not because of time conflicts, but more so because I felt that the donated time and effort was either not put to good use or was unappreciated.  The Graduate Business SERVE events have completely satisfied my desire to be of use, to give back, and to be appreciated.  In addition to providing valuable help to a very worthy cause, (the food bank) I love the fact that our Saint Mary’s Graduate Business group gets some visibility and a pat on the back!  Last Wednesday we packed over 3600 lbs. of broccoli in under two hours and went home with a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction."

For details on how to participate in the next SERVE event visit,  www.smcbusinessalumni.com/serve.

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