Honor Society Fundraiser to Benefit Local Food-Insecure Children
April 16, 2014
Eighty-three food-insecure children from four local schools will have food over their Spring Break (which runs the week after Easter) thanks to Catawba College's chapter of Alpha Chi National Honor Society. The society's service project recently raised $1067.47 to donate to the local non-profit, Food for Thought.
Members of Alpha Chi staffed a collection table outside of the dining hall on campus between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. the week of April 7th. Cans of food, of the sort that would be distributed to the food-insecure children, sat on the collection table. Each can displayed a price tag, a reminder, Catawba's Alpha Chi advisor Dr. Margy Stahr said "of just how much and how little it costs to feed a child."
The following Monday, April 14th, Alpha Chi members gathered at St. Luke's Parish Hall to bag the food that will be distributed to food-insecure children at Koontz Elementary, Overton Elementary, Isenburg Elementary and Knox Middle schools. The food packed adheres to strict nutritional guidelines and could be prepared by a school-age child with access to a can opener and a microwave. Alpha Chi members participating in bagging the food included Olivia Myers of Lexington, Anna Toole of Raleigh, Kayce Kimrey of Ramseur, Lizzie White of Salisbury, Shakeisha Gray of Salisbury and Stahr. Catawba student, Jordan Hunsaker of Charlotte, and Gray's son, Griffin, also assisted.
"In Alpha Chi, we're about academic excellence, and Food for Thought exists 'because a hungry child can't learn,' which is its tagline. To work on behalf of an organization whose mission is to help children be successful in school excited our members. The educational component added energy to our service project," Stahr continued.
Shakeisha Gray, an Alpha Chi member, originally suggested the Food For Thought organization as a potential partner for the honor society's service project. She was familiar with the non-profit because she has school-age children enrolled in one of the targeted schools that had a fairly large number of food-insecure children.
The children whom Food for Thought serves receive free or reduced school lunches during the week, and face no guarantees that food will be available to them at home on weekends. Donations and grants, like those provided by the Alpha Chi service project, help solve this problem. An average of 66 percent of the elementary and middle school students in Rowan County receive free or reduced school lunch.
Tory Curran, executive director of Food for Thought, said of the fundraiser, "It speaks volumes about the students in Alpha Chi and the Catawba community as a whole that they would embrace this project on behalf of hungry school children in Rowan County. An average of 85 percent of the students who attend the four schools targeted in this fundraising effort receive free and reduced school lunch; so clearly there is tremendous need in our community. My thanks to all involved in this effort."
For more information on Food For Thought, visit www.ncfoodforthought.org.