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NCCU Wins $10,000 Food Lion Collegiate Hunger Challenge

NCCU student stocking the university's campus pantry.

Story by: Bernita Cooper, Office of Communications and Marketing 

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) won $10,000 in the 2019 Food Lion Feeds Collegiate Hunger Challenge, a contest aimed at alleviating issues of hunger and food insecurity in the local community.

The challenge took place during the Fall 2018 semester and included 18 universities and community colleges in the North Carolina Campus Compact network.

NCCU partnered with local community organizations, the Durham Food Lion store and the on-campus food pantry to educate the public and promote hunger awareness. One of the educational activities was conducted during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in November. 

“We were able to support local adult mental health organizations through a food drive to benefit those in need,” shared Sujayalakshmi Devarayasamudram, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing and faculty advisor of the Hunger Challenge. 

Agencies that benefitted from NCCU’s efforts included Threshold Clubhouse, Club Nova Community Inc. and Healing With CAARE. Located in Durham, Threshold is dedicated to helping adults with severe mental illness with tools that support their independence. Comparatively, Club Nova is located in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina area and serves those with serious mental illness in all areas of care from medical to social and financial. Additionally, Healing with CAARE provides prevention services to at-risk individuals and families in Durham.

Calleen Herbert, director of NCCU’s Office of Community Engagement and Service, said funds earned through the competition support hunger relief efforts in the neighborhoods surrounding NCCU and throughout Durham.

“Winning the $10,000 will be instrumental in providing financial resources to the food pantry on campus, in the Durham community and to children attending the six Eagle Village Schools within a five-mile radius of the university,” Herbert said.

Junior nursing major George Price, named the Food Lion MVP Student Ambassador, led the NCCU team in registering more than 400 MVP cards on the new Food Lion App to win the contest.“I wanted to change at least one person’s life by encouraging them to eat healthier, by providing them with groceries, or by finding a way for them to save money using the Food Lion app,” Price said. “Winning was always the goal, but understanding how this program would improve our community fueled the team’s motivation to complete the challenge.”

Contest winners were selected based on on-campus engagement and creativity, the amount of food collected in the food drive, the number of MVP cardholders registered, social media engagement using the hashtag #FoodLionFeedsNCCU and the amount of shopping points earned.

Representatives from the NCCU team will travel to Food Lion headquarters in Salisbury, North Carolina, on Jan. 28, for a celebration luncheon. A check presentation ceremony will take place at the 2019 North Carolina Campus Compact Presidents Forum on Feb. 13, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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