The week before thanksgiving break, the organization Stop Hunger Now allowed students to donate meal swipes at the dining hall to raise money for its meal-packaging event in the spring, Adrienne Piazza said.
Piazza is the coordinator of student development and educational programming and in charge of the on-campus effort to promote the organization and its cause.
“Although I am not certain how many meal swipes we raised this year, in the past years we’ve raised around $1500, that goes towards the meal packaging event,” Piazza said.
The biggest event held by the Center for Civic Engagement issued coalition, is the meal-packaging event that takes place in the February, she said. “Student volunteers and the on- campus coalition partners with the international organization to help package and send meals to communities, schools, and orphanages in South East Asia or Africa.”
The campus-based coalition depends upon the involvement of the student volunteers who also help to raise additional funding by tabling in the commons and approaching clubs and other student organizations for donations, Piazza said. “We meet every other week and talk about ways we can solve problems of hunger around the world or locally and how to raise more fund for the meal packaging event.”
“I learned about Stop Hunger Now during my freshman year,” Pooja Patel said. “I volunteered during their meal packaging event where approximately 13,000 meals were packaged.”
Patel is one of the many student volunteers involved in the coalition on campus.
Last year during the meal packaging event 75 to 100 students were present, Patel said.
Along with the meal swipe donations, the organization held a dinner event, The Hunger Banquet, to raise awareness about the issues of global hunger, Piazza said.
“Our Hunger Banquet was modelled after the Oxfam Hunger Banquet,” Piazza said. Students were placed, at random, in low income, middle income and high income situations and given the average amount of food that represents those classes, she said.
“Students also read facts about hunger around the world and told stories of different people and demonstrated how circumstances can change a person’s diet,” Piazza said.
“The first Hunger Banquet was a huge success,” Patel said. “We had 55 student participants.”
At the banquet professor of political science, Jennifer Erkulwater spoke about hunger in the city of Richmond, Piazza said.
“She spoke a lot about food deserts in rural areas of the city and the lack of fresh groceries in these areas,” Piazza said. “She focused her discussion on areas of the Southside and East End of the city.”
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