Saturday, 26 September 2020 16:18

Sodexo donates $20,000 to aid student food insecurity at UNCP

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PEMBROKE — Food service giant Sodexo is donating $20,000 to assist students experiencing food insecurity at UNC Pembroke.


Sodexo, who manages UNCP’s dining services, has been a dedicated community partner in the university’s efforts to combat student hunger on campus. This recent gift exemplifies Sodexo’s commitment to overall student success and improve quality of life. 

“Sodexo is honored to partner with UNCP on this very important need. Helping out locally with food insecurity is a priority for Braves Dining. As the need has increased in today’s challenging world, Sodexo is thankful for the opportunity to support and make a difference,” said Sodexo District Manager Darcy Woodward.

Studies show 30% of college students experience food insecurity and that hunger negatively impacts academic performance and health outcomes. At UNCP, the percentage was closer to 50% based on a campus assessment in 2016.

The Office for Community and Civic Engagement will help identify students in need who will, in turn, receive a designated number of meals on their campus dining plan to meet their need. In the past, Sodexo has provided $3,000 annually to assist with food insecurity. 

“It is great to have an additional partner in helping us to alleviate hunger on campus,” said Christie Poteet, director of the Office for Community and Civic Engagement.

“There have been times when the CARE Resource Center could not provide the needed resources for students facing food insecurity and this fund allowed us to ensure those students had access to warm and nutritious meals. With the increase in the donation amount this year, we will be able to serve more students in a meaningful way. We are thankful for Sodexo’s continued support of our students.” 

This year, Sodexo agreed to donate half of the total contribution to support ASPIRE, a mentoring program that meets the needs of students experiencing homelessness. It provides food assistance, financial assistance, peer mentor training and dorm supplies. 

“I am thrilled to partner with Sodexo. Food insecurity is a real issue with our students experiencing homelessness,” said Dr. Tamara Savage, professor of social work and ASPIRE director.

“These funds will change my students’ lives. They will be released from the worry of how they will pay for their next meal. Now they can feel like a typical student and just swipe their card and eat. I can’t thank Sodexo enough.”

Additionally, Sodexo supports the university through various other initiatives, including a food recovery program, a farmer’s market and an annual End Hunger Food Drive.