By Carley Crain
Every year the Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) hosts their Fill the Bus Drive in collaboration with the Department of Public Safety and the Division of Inclusion and Community Engagement, which helps provide food to those in need from the Springfield community. This year was no different as they surpassed their goal of collecting over fifty boxes and filling every single seat on the bus, complying with COVID-19 protocols and social distancing guidelines.
SALT is made up of different Springfield athletes from every NCAA varsity sports team who all come together to help improve campus life and the overall community. Their annual Fill the Bus drive is mainly run by their Humanics In Action subcommittee, but all other committees did their part in spreading awareness and making sure every box was filled.
“This was a really successful year even with COVID. We made it work and hit over fifty boxes which is a really good number. It was past our goal. Every team did their part and some. We were not concerned but we wondered how it would go with COVID,” Billy Welsby, Team Impact executive board member, explained.
Each team on campus is provided a box that they are encouraged to fill with monetary donations or bags of food. SALT representatives from every team are responsible to encourage their teammates, coaches and other members from campus to donate to help assist food insecurity in the city of Springfield. This year SALT decided to donate all the food to the Springfield College food pantry, to help students in need during these challenging pandemic times.
This past Thursday from 9-12 p.m., student athletes helped gather all the boxes from around campus to fill the bus using an assembly line style, which was COVID safe. SALT was able to fill all the seats in the bus and even had to utilize the isles to make sure all the donations would fit. The donations were then delivered shortly after to the Springfield College food pantry.
“We still got to talk to everyone and there was really good energy and vibes,” said Welsby. “It was almost the same as every other year we just had to be a little more cautious about how many people we had helping and the space between one another as we were filling the bus.”
The Fill the Bus drive will help many students in need on the Springfield College campus. To keep updated on SALT’s activities and events for the rest of the school year, follow them on Instagram, @springfieldsalt.
Photo Courtesy Springfield College Athletics