UNCP wins second place in Collegiate Hunger Challenge

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Representing UNCP are Sandy Jacobs, far left, Sam Hauser, Kamren Lewis, Evan Long, Shania McMillan and Dr. Leslie Locklear

UNC Pembroke earned a second-place finish and won $7,000 in the Collegiate Hunger Challenge designed to address food insecurity on and around college campuses.

UNCP competed against 14 other colleges in the fourth annual challenge sponsored by Food Lion Feeds and North Carolina Campus Engagement. Throughout the four-month challenge, participating colleges and universities earned points based on several activities centered around combating food insecurity and raising awareness. Schools competed against one another to see which student body collects and donates the most food to neighbors in need.

“We are grateful for finishing in second place, especially considering we are a smaller university competing against larger schools,” said sophomore Magally Ortiz-Rojas, manager of the CARE Resource Center, the university’s on-campus food pantry. “This shows how much effort we put into collecting donations and raising awareness about food insecurities.”

UNCP collaborated with local community agencies and partners in hosting several activities, including a hunger march, golf cart trivia, a hunger banquet, and a Food Lion donation drive.

The winnings will maximize the resources offered through the CARE Resource Center, which is open to students, faculty, staff and the community.

“Food insecurity is a serious problem here at UNCP,” said Evan Long, associate director for Service-Learning It can be detrimental to academic performance when students are stressed about where their next meal is coming from. If we can help students with basic needs, that is one less financial burden, and they can focus more on academics.”

“This is such a powerful example of how higher education and business can partner to address a public issue for which they both are concerned, such as hunger and food insecurity,” said Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Engagement. “It is so exciting to witness the passion and hard work of the student hunger ambassadors as they develop the civic skills to continue to be community leaders in the future.”