Western Carolina University (WCU) has intensified its outreach and engagement activities across communities in the Western NC region to address food insecurity and hunger. The campus kicked off related activities during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 15-21, 2009) when the Center for Service Learning coordinated a series of events designed to focus attention on these poverty-related conditions. Events included two community service projects: one being at Jackson County’s soup kitchen and the other at MANNA FoodBank in Asheville.
At MANNA, the volunteers spent two hours sorting and packing food for distribution to people in need. MANNA serves 315 non-profit member agencies in sixteen Western NC counties. In calendar year 2009, MANNA distributed nearly 7.6 million pounds of food to partner agencies – enough food for more than 17,000 meals every day of the year.
Also during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Jeanne Naber, coordinator of the Haywood County Meals On Wheels came to campus and gave a presentation to more than fifty students. Meals On Wheels serves approxiametely 332 meals to elderly, disabled and/or visually impaired persons on twenty-four routes throughout the county.
Food insecurity is a significant regional issue. A 2010 Hunger in America study found that 106,600 Western North Carolinians (one in six) receive emergency food each year.
For more information, please contact:
Director, Center for Service Learning