The Statewide Challenge to End Hunger

“North Carolina is experiencing a human catastrophe. There are more children, more seniors and all ages in between that need assistance than at any time in the history of food banking in this state.”

-  Clyde Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina

 THE CHALLENGE

Between November 12, 2011 Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, and NC Campus Compact's Tenth Year Anniversary date of March 22, 2012 NC Campus Compact promoted and collated campus efforts to address food insecurity. 

Thirteen NC Campus Compact members participated in the Statewide Challenge to End Hunger:

Campbell University
Duke University
Durham Technical Community College
East Carolina University
Elon University
Gardner-Webb University
NC Central University
Pfeiffer University
Queens University of Charlotte
UNC Chapel Hill
UNC Pembroke
Wake Technical Community College
Western Piedmont Community College

The variety of activities was amazing. 

• ECU helped glean sweet potatoes and peanuts.
• UNC-Pembroke created a website to help local agencies connect with each other and understand real local need.
• Campus Kitchens at Elon and ECU served meals, reclaiming leftover food in dining halls. 
• NC Central participated in Durham's Crop Walk. 
• Campbell helped restock the local food pantry.
• Pfeiffer partnered with two local shelters to ensure they had food for residents.
• Western Piedmont ensured every student could participate by placing food collection boxes in prominent places throughout the campus.
• Gardner-Webb. Elon, Durham Tech, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke worked with their own or local community gardens to collect food.
• Wake Tech, Elon, Queens, and Duke joined with Stop Hunger Now to help feed the hungry around the world.
 

We appreciate the efforts of Julie Lawson, NC State, member of the Tenth Year Anniversary Committee, for working with the Challenge.


THE RESULTS

13 campuses, ¼ of our members, for 1/3 of the year: Totals = 19,946 pounds of food and 15,297 food items collected; 107,457 meals created or served; 7253 volunteer hours and $21,802 contributed. 

See featured articles contained in the Engagement Matters blog related to the Challenge.

Community Colleges Fully Embraced the Challenge to End Hunger

UNC Chapel Hill Addresses Food Insecurity and Promotes Healthy Eating


THE CONTEST

In conjunction with the Challenge each NC Campus Compact campus could submit one guess to the following two questions. 

  1. How many total pounds of food do you think will be collected by all 42 campuses through the Statewide Challenge?
  2. How many total meals will be created or served by all 42 campuses during the November 12 through March 22 Statewide Challenge?

The winners of the contest were:

• East Carolina University - VISTA Chelsey Bennett submitted the winning guess - 16,042 - for pounds of food collected. 
• Western Carolina University - VISTA Derald Dryman (go, Banjo!) submitted the winning guess - 131, 678 - for number of meals created or served.  

Both campuses received $100 to assist with their upcoming community engagement projects. 

Honorable mention goes to Dominique Redmond at Duke University for most optimistic!  Dominique guessed that our Compact would collect 5 million pounds of food, and serve 3,500,000 meals.  


THE NEED

Since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, food assistance demand has exploded.  (Read more of the Greensboro News and Record’s November 29, 2010, article).

• Emergency food banks, pantries and soup kitchens report they’ve seen more requests from existing clients and first-timers, people who still have jobs and for children.
• More than 1 out of 4 children is food insecure in North Carolina, with our state 11th in the nation for hungriest children.
• There has been a 46% increase nationally in the number of people seeking emergency food assistance.