Tyson Foods Gift of $225,000 Helps U of A Programs Fight Hunger in Northwest Arkansas
Students from the Volunteer Action Center accept a check in the amount of $225,000 from Tyson Foods, Inc. in support of the Full Circle Campus Food Pantry and Food Recovery Program.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Tyson Foods Inc. recently donated $225,000 to the Center for Community Engagement and the Volunteer Action Center at the University of Arkansas. The gift will primarily support expansion of the Full Circle Campus Food Pantry and the Razorback Food Recovery program, two student volunteer projects. Along with a previous $35,000 grant from Tyson Foods, the funds will also be used to create a food-assistance mentoring program, so that U of A students can share their experiences and help other colleges and universities start their own pantries and food recovery projects.
Thanks to the donation, the Center for Community Engagement will also have the opportunity to host a national conference on food insecurity and campus-based food assistance programs in the spring of 2016.
“This grant from Tyson Foods will allow the University of Arkansas to create a national mentoring program that will allow other university campuses to create their own programs,” said Angela Oxford, director for the Center for Community Engagement. “We are very appreciative to Tyson Foods for investing in these student-led projects and helping us spread awareness about food insecurity and food recovery.”
The Full Circle Campus Food Pantry and Razorback Food Recovery program work together to provide food assistance on campus and in Northwest Arkansas. The pantry was founded in 2011 by a group of students who became aware of the struggles that some of their peers hunger, and it has grown from serving 12 people in its first month to serving an average of 200 students, staff, faculty and their households each week.
The Razorback Food Recovery program was created this spring by students who wanted to address the issues of food waste and hunger in the community. Volunteers work with the staff of Chartwells, the food provider for the U of A campus, to recover safe, wholesome food from dining facilities, retail facilities and various special events and provide that food to hunger relief agencies in the Fayetteville area.
Oxford noted, “In the first seven months of the program, we have seen over 20,000 pounds of food recovered, which equates to over 16,000 meals.”
For more information about the Center for Community Engagement, visit service.uark.edu.
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