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Posted: March 2, 2013 9:26 p.m.

Dropping food for a cause

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Students at Oxford College of Emory University are seeking volunteers, sponsors and food distribution centers for a community-wide project that will provide more than 40,000 pounds of food to the communities of Newton, Rockdale and Walton counties.

A food drop will be held on Saturday, April 27 at the college for Global Youth Service Day, where volunteers are invited to lend a helping hand in organizing and distributing produce to families in need.

Amy Van Pelt, a student volunteer coordinator at Oxford College of Emory University, said in order to host the drop, about $3,500 is needed to cover the shipping and freight of the produce, publicity for the event, bagging, and water for all of the campus and community members participating in the food drop.

“This project’s sincere mission is to serve those in need in our community,” Van Pelt wrote in a letter, which asked for support from the community. “Although this food drop will not completely eradicate the issue of hunger in the United States, we intend to do all we can to take a step in the right direction for this community.”

Van Pelt and a group of Oxford College of Emory students attended an alternative fall break service trip in Dahlonega, where students participated in a potato drop coordinated by the Society of St. Andrew’s “Harvest of Hope” program.
The potato drop involved local farmers dropping and donating their crops, which no longer were worthy of a supermarket retail due to a minimal blemish. Students bagged the produce and distributed it to local agencies, food pantries and local community members who were in need.

Kasey Robinson, assistant director of student involvement and leadership, said she was inspired by students involved in this project because some students who participate in trips involving community service usually don’t continue serving communities.

“Our students usually attend these service trips and they have the hype of serving others and being excited while there on the trip and then they come back from the service trip and they are like, ‘Alright, that was cool; I did something good and I feel good about myself,’ and then they are kind of done with it,” Robinson said.

“What’s been different about this trip is that these  students, instead of just leaving that at the door when they left, they came back and said, ‘We realize that this is a bigger issue than just something that we can do on the weekend and feel good about ourselves; we actually want to come back and say, what can we actually do to make an impact so that this is a life-long covenant to improve the state of hunger in the United States, in our community, in our city and in our area,’” she said.

“They took something that would just be a weekend adventure in a way, and turned it into something that will now impact our college community so that people who couldn’t go on the service trip could learn more about it and as well.”

There are three ways people can help with the project through sponsorships, volunteers and food distribution. Sponsorships, which will be accepted in three levels — Gold $500, Silver $250 and Bronze $100 — from in-kind sponsorships to monetary donation. Volunteers are welcomed beginning with youth of all ages, families and community groups.

Food distribution centers, such as churches, food pantries, shelters and community organizations, are also invited to receive the food which will be bagged during the service day. Anyone interested in helping with the service project should contact, Kim David at 770-784-8457 or kim.david@emory.edu.

Additional information can also be found by visiting the Oxford Global Youth Service Day Food Drop Facebook page.

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