With the holiday season ahead, the MSU hockey team (4-6-2 overall, 3-4-1 CCHA) is taking time off the ice to turn its attention to those in need in Greater Lansing.
In an initiative started in the 2009-10 season by senior forward Chris Forfar and former MSU hockey player Torey Krug during their freshman year, Spartan student-athletes collect toiletries and nonperishable food items to donate to the Greater Lansing Food Bank and MSU Food Bank.
“We enlisted the help of student-athletes each year that we’ve done it,” Forfar said.
“We pick a community, most of the time it’s been East Lansing, but this year we actually got permission to expand into Okemos. We go door to door and pass out flyers saying, ‘Here’s our idea; we’ll be back in a couple days. If you guys have any food you would like to donate, please leave it on the steps.’”
Forfar said on Monday night, the hockey team joined with various current and former athletes on the football, soccer, golf, swim and gymnastics teams to pass out flyers.
They will return to those areas to pick up any donations on Thursday night.
The hockey team additionally is asking for fans to bring items to donate at 6:05 p.m. during Saturday night’s game at Munn Ice Arena against Ohio State. There will be donation boxes at every rink entrance, according to a release by the MSU athletics department.
“They don’t do it just to add it to their résumé that someday they’re going to circulate in the marketplace,” MSU hockey head coach Tom Anastos said. “They do it because they really care about it. It’s nice to see that kind of … commitment and pride that the players take in being involved in activities like this.”
The initiative is in its fourth year, and the food drive has helped to donate more than 3,000 pounds of donated items. The donations are given to local families in need.
“I’ve been told since I’ve been here (that) hockey players have always been amongst the leaders on our campus in community outreach,” Anastos said. “In (Forfar’s) case, I commend him and others that take the pride that they do and dedicate the time. These guys have to make time to do this, but it’s important to them.”
Forfar said his community involvement kicked off when he was playing junior hockey in Lincoln, Neb., where he had “nothing to do — ever.”
He continued that hobby at MSU with the hockey program. Earlier this year, Forfar said during Halloween time, the team handed out candy to those with special needs.
“It’s fun,” he said. “It’s always nice to give back. I’ve been so fortunate in the things that have been offered to me. If I can hand that back to anybody, it just makes me feel good.”