The inaugural Year of Feeding the Pack challenge united the university community to collect 23,542 pounds of food in 2022 for NC State’s on-campus food pantry.
In turn, donations to the Feed the Pack Food Pantry last year increased by 16,515 pounds of food for a total of 126,312 pounds, compared to 109,797 pounds in 2021, said Rose Krebs, program coordinator of the student-led pantry. The food collected from this year’s challenge created 4,220 meals for members of the Wolfpack community in need.
“The challenge provided a helpful boost this year, particularly over the summer months when the number of donations often drops significantly,” Krebs said.
The success of the Year of Feeding the Pack also reflects NC State’s emphasis on service and civic engagement. Additionally, it united the campus-wide community to shed light on the issue of food insecurity and the resources available to support those it affects.
Each of NC State’s colleges, the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, the Graduate School and the NC State University Libraries selected a month to lead a food drive as part of the yearlong competition drive. Participants could donate food items or cash, with each dollar counting as two pounds toward the total.
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences finished first with 7,167 pounds of food, followed by the College of Sciences (4,382 pounds) and NC State University Libraries (3,179 pounds).
“The real winners of this friendly competition are our students and employees who may need our pantry services,” said Deanna Dannels, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the prime mover behind the Year of Feeding the Pack challenge. “The results of this year’s competition are inspirational and visible reminders of the importance of addressing food insecurity in our community 365 days a year.”
Due to this initial impassioned response, year two of the challenge is already underway, Dannels added, noting that the hope is that Year of Feeding the Pack will become an annual event.
The college is no stranger to such competitions, having organized a holiday food drive, challenging other groups across campus, since 2012. However, access to healthy food can be a daily and year-round struggle, which the Year of Feeding the Pack helps to address.
“Thank you to everyone who contributed to this effort,” Dannels says. “It’s another example of what we can accomplish when our Pack comes together.”
This post was originally published in College of Humanities and Social Sciences.