Recipients of blood donations include cancer patients, people who encounter life-threatening physical trauma and burns, people with chronic diseases, and those needing surgery. The Red Cross recently declared a blood crisis — the worst blood shortage in over a decade, and doctors have been forced to make decisions about who can receive blood and who is forced to wait.

So, what options do we have when it comes to aiding those in need? The UR Red Cross Club has a solution, and you can support them in making actively positive change.

Red Cross participates in blood drives multiple times throughout the academic year, and the nearest University blood drive is on Oct. 5 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Friel and Harper Rooms in Susan B. Anthony Hall. For those unable to donate this upcoming Wednesday, the University’s Red Cross Club is hosting a second drive on Nov. 15

How can you make your donation most effective? Being cognizant of eating certain foods that boost the production of hemoglobin — the protein found in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide — makes your blood donation slightly better than before, and it’s possible to get turned away from a donation if your hemoglobin levels are too low.

For example: eating more iron-rich foods, maximizing your iron absorption by eating foods rich in Vitamin A, C, and beta carotene, and eating more folate will help facilitate your hemoglobin production. Why? Iron boosts the production of hemoglobin, and folate is a type of vitamin B that the body uses to produce the part of hemoglobin that carries oxygen. In addition, higher iron levels will help you produce new red blood cells quicker after your donation.

Here is a list of recommended foods to aid in hemoglobin production: Iron-rich foods include: meat and fish, tofu, eggs, broccoli, green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, and green beans.

Foods rich in Vitamin A include: fish, sweet potatoes, and kale.
Foods rich in Vitamin C include: citrus fruits, strawberries, and leafy greens.
Foods rich in beta carotene include: carrots, squash, and cantaloupes.

Foods rich in folate include: beef, spinach, rice, peanuts, kidney beans, avocados, and lettuce.

Volunteering and donating means a lot to the campus community and everybody it helps. Check out the University’s Red Cross Club Instagram page for more information.

To sign up for blood donations, go to and use the sponsor keyword: uofrstudentsrochester

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