HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 30, 2016 – While plenty of High Point University students frequent campus dining locations every day, there’s one group of students who can be found behind the scenes in the kitchens working to fight hunger.
HPU’s Food Recovery Network team recently reached a milestone of 20,000 meals donated since the program began in fall 2015, with 6,653 pounds donated this semester alone. Students donate surplus food from campus dining locations to Open Door Ministries in High Point several times a week to assist the organization in their mission to provide three meals a day, seven days a week, to those in need.
They’re also close to accomplishing another major goal – donating 25,000 pounds of food in total.
As part of a national initiative, the organization is working to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste, packaging it and delivering it to community members in need.
As he packaged food after lunchtime on a Friday, a time when group members meet to collect and deliver food, senior Eric Medore explained why the program was important to him.
“It feels good to be able to directly give back to the community,” said Medore, a member of Alpha Phi Omega, HPU’s service fraternity. “We do so much on campus to raise money for different groups, but it’s especially nice to see the direct impacts of what we are doing. Plus, we’ve found that serving is the best way to bond. It’s rewarding for everyone involved.”
Lilly Wingate, president of FRN, says that serving with the organization has been an eye-opening experience.
“It feels very good to know that we’re helping feed the hungry population of High Point,” said Wingate. “The city sat at number one in the country for food insecurity for a long time, but I recently heard that we’ve come down to number 9.That’s a huge improvement, and I’m proud to say that HPU FRN is doing what it can to help that improvement continue. Food is so important for anyone to be successful in life, and that’s really all we want for people.”
“The Food Recovery Network team has made a huge impact in High Point community over the past year,” says Brittaney McClure, an AmeriCorps VISTA and advisor for FRN. “Since last fall they have been able to donate roughly 24,500 pounds of food to Open Door Ministries, which has been beneficial in helping them prepare meals for the High Point Community.”
“The donated food that we receive from HPU’s Food Recovery Network is very important to Open Door Ministries’ Father’s Table,” says Steve Key, executive director of Open Door Ministries of High Point. “The quality and quantity is wonderful and is extremely helpful at providing food for the meals that we serve to the people who come to us for assistance.”
HPU’s FRN team will be packaging food on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and on Fridays at noon until the end of the semester.