Students in two Writing and Language Studies Department classes are collaborating for UTRGV’s first Zombie Walk Food Drive and Flash O’Ween Horror stories Thursday at the Quad on the Edinburg campus.
Lecturer Mary Ann Escamilla’s 1302 English students were inspired by the Syfy post-apocalyptic TV series “Z Nation” to host the Zombie Food Drive Walk to fight food insecurity.
The food drive will benefit the UTRGV Food Bank, which is also affiliated with Feeding America and the Texas Food Bank Network, serving Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron counties.
According to The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley Inc., about 1 in 4 households undergo food insecurity and 1 in 2 children in the Rio Grande Valley live at or beneath poverty status. Feeding America states that 1 in 6 Americans face hunger, including the elderly, children and employed adults who can’t make ends meet.
Registration will start at 12:15 p.m., and the event will run until 1:30 p.m. The cost to enter the event is two cans of food. No ramen, glass containers or expired foods will be accepted. The event will feature a costume contest, a zombie walk-off, a prize drawing and more.
Escamilla’s students have created a page on Facebook called “Zombie Walk Food Drive” to promote the event and hunger awareness. Her students also created a YouTube video invitation for Keith Allan, who plays “Murphy” on “Z Nation.” As of press time Thursday, Allan had not yet replied.
“The whole point of the food drive is to spread awareness of the hunger insecurity in the area and, you know, hopefully get information out to people about different things,” Escamilla said. “We’re also going to have posters of research that my students have done on the issue of hunger insecurity and also how the students are affected by it.”
That same day, Lecturer Regine Pellicer’s 1301 class will read “Flash O’Ween Horror Stories.” The UTRGV Creative Program will also participate in the event by hosting an Open Mic for those who wish to read their horror stories.
Pellicer states why it’s a good idea to get students involved outside the classroom.
“It’s to help the students realize that they’re active citizens,” Pellicer said about the event. “Very often, students think that they come to class, they sit and listen to their teacher and that’s about it, but going to college is more than that. We want them to have another experience, to understand that they have a place in society, so we try to actually change that … to actually see that the students are writing something not for their teachers but for a real audience.”