Food Lion Helps to Fight Hunger on College Campuses
Many of our neighbors have faced hunger at some point in time. Whether it’s just for a few days or longer. When most people think of a segment of the community that is hungry, they usually picture a person who is homeless or just fallen on some difficult times. But there is a growing population of hungry neighbors and surprisingly it may not be who you would think – college students.
College is expensive, and campus meal plans add an additional expense. Additionally, a lot of students commute to campus, so there are additional challenges and expenses that come with that.
Since 2014, through its hunger relief initiative Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion has partnered with at least six colleges and universities throughout our 10-state footprint to open new food pantries on campus. The pantries have become much more than just a room, but a meeting space and place of hope for hundreds of students who otherwise would have to make tough choices between buying books or buying food.
“If you look at me you wouldn’t think that I am hungry, but I have been on campus several times with no place to turn,” said Jazmyn McQuarter, a student at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., who has benefited from the food pantry Food Lion Feeds established on campus in 2015. “I am so glad Food Lion opened the pantry here.”
Earlier this year, Food Lion Feeds partnered on its most recent food pantry on a college campus when it joined with Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, N.C. This was the first Food Lion Feeds on-campus pantry that offers fresh produce to students in addition to the pantry staples.
"I want to thank Food Lion for their efforts in getting this needed resource on the Fayetteville State University campus," said Chancellor James Anderson. " I could not be more pleased with the work that has been put forward to make this happen for us."
Additional pantries that Food Lion has helped start include Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C, Winston-Salem State University in Winston Salem, N.C., and Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va., the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. Since their founding, these pantries have helped to feed thousands of students who faced food insecurity issues.
Another way Food Lion has helped to lead the way to support students to help other students who are hungry was through the 2019 Food Lion Feeds Collegiate Hunger Challenge. Food Lion awarded both North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) with $10,000 as part of the 2019 Food Lion Feeds Collegiate Hunger Challenge.
The two schools were chosen out of 17 participating schools in the inaugural competition developed by Food Lion and North Carolina Campus Compact, an organization focused on civic engagement on North Carolina college campuses.
In total, the 17 schools hosted nearly 140 events around hunger awareness and collected more than 77,000 pounds of food during the 2018 Fall semester to help nourish hungry neighbors on campuses and in the towns and cities where the schools are located.
Each of the 17 participating schools had a unique approach, and a different set of ideas on how to deliver the message that hunger is prevalent on college campuses, and how to address that. While Elizabeth City State University led a competition kick-off event to start their food drive and continued it with a Fill-A-Bus food drive at one of the school’s football games, which collected more than 5,000 pounds of food, North Carolina Central University was particularly successful in helping to raise awareness of hunger on campus and in and around the community.
Food Lion Feeds is proud to nourish the towns and cities we serve and help set them up for success, and through our partnership with these local secondary education institutions to fight student hunger are doing just that.