Student-led hunger challenge addresses food insecurity; a total of $25,000 will be awarded
North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is participating in the fifth annual North Carolina Collegiate Hunger Challenge, a program that empowers college students to create awareness about - and collect food for - community members who experience hunger.
The Collegiate Hunger Challenge was created by Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion’s hunger-relief platform, and North Carolina Campus Engagement, a collaborative network of colleges and universities committed to educating students on civic and social responsibility. During the competition, both entities will award a total of $25,000 to winning colleges for their efforts to fight hunger on and around their campuses. New this year, the partnership will award one $10,000 overall prize and a $5,000 prize from each sector – community college, four-year public college and four-year private institution. Since 2019, the Collegiate Hunger Challenge has awarded more than $135,000, equivalent to more than 1.3 million meals.
“Identifying solutions for hunger on college campuses and surrounding communities is one of our greatest goals, and we’re excited to join forces with the next generation of leaders,” said Kevin Durkee, manager of Food Lion Feeds. “In addition to addressing food insecurity in our communities, the Collegiate Hunger Challenge supports our educational partners.”
During the challenge, which kicked off on Sept. 11, 2023, during Hunger Action Month, and runs through Dec. 22, 2023, NCCU will accumulate points through various activities around addressing food insecurity and raising awareness. In previous challenges, NCCU won the $10,000 grand prize and a $1,000 social media prize.
Each participating school will select at least one MVP Student Hunger Ambassador to lead campus efforts. Rakeeme Baldwin, who is pursuing a master’s degree in social work, will serve as NCCU’s representative, alongside faculty mentor Sujayalakshmi Devarayasamudram, Ph.D., an associate professor in the nursing department. Baldwin will receive a stipend upon completion of the campaign in addition to ongoing support from Food Lion Feeds and North Carolina Campus Engagement for the marketing of the program.
“Rakeeme Baldwin was selected because he proudly advocates for his community and exhibits a strong passion for reducing food insecurity and engaging the North Carolina Central University campus in hunger relief activities,” said Devarayasamudram.
For more information about the North Carolina Collegiate Hunger Challenge, visit https://nccampusengagement.org/fighting-hunger-food-insecurity/.