During the fall semester, Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society chapter participated in the third annual Collegiate Hunger Challenge. The College competed against 12 other North Carolina colleges and universities to win up to $10,000 to fight hunger on campus and in the communities it serves.

The Collegiate Hunger Challenge, created by Food Lion Feeds and North Carolina Campus Compact, ran from September 13 to December 10, where participating colleges and universities earned points based on activities the school participated in. These activities were centered around hunger awareness, collecting and donating food for neighbors in need.

PCC’s PTK members first attempted the Collegiate Hunger Challenge in 2020 and found success collecting more than 300 non-perishable food items and receiving $1,000 of Food Lion gift cards which were given to students in need. PTK Co-Advisor Dr. Don Miller said for as successful as that was, they were hoping to do much more this time around.

“We were thrilled by the support of the Caswell County Campus community during the 2020 Food Lion Feeds campaign where we had a tremendous response to our call for food donations,” Miller said. “This time, we wanted to expand by building a community garden, holding food drives on both campuses, and gathering care packages for local charities.

PCC Student Kayla Rice was selected as the College’s MVP Student Ambassador to lead the campaign because of her leadership skills and passion for service. She was present for all the College’s initiatives within the challenge, collecting MVP card numbers and non-perishable food items, constructing a garden on PCC’s campus, and packing care packages for the Christian Help Center and Caswell Parrish.

Rice said that during every step of this three-month competition, she only felt encouragement.

“Throughout the whole process I felt supported by my family, friends, PCC’s employees, and by the whole community,” Rice said. “When I would tell people about what I was doing they would always ask how they could help, whether it was shopping for extra nonperishable food to donate or donating their time, they were happy to support us and the overall cause.”

The Spring 2022 semester brought exciting news when PCC was announced as third place winner in this statewide competition earning $3,000 to help fight food insecurity, with East Carolina University taking first place, and UNC-Pembroke claiming second.

“I am so proud of the hard work from the PTK Officers and the giving spirit of the PCC community,” Miller said. “It is remarkable to me that we were able to place ahead of schools with many more students, faculty, and staff. The fact that we finished third despite having fewer resources than our competitors shows the generosity and hard work of the PCC student and employee body as well as our local communities.” 

Throughout the competition 230 pounds of food were donated, 21 care packages were assembled, more than 100 Food Lion MVP cards were associated with the campaign, and, because of this, PCC was able to compete with much larger institutions such as UNC-Greensboro, Central Piedmont Community College, and High Point University.

“Knowing the schools that we were competing against, I wasn’t sure what to expect with our final placement of the challenge, but now that we’ve officially placed third, I couldn’t be prouder of our PTK chapter for making this happen,” Rice said. “But now that I know what we can do, I expect for us to continue to grow as we take on the next challenge, so we can do more for PCC students and our communities.”

PCC plans to use the $3,000 to fight food insecurity in the communities it serves by donating to local charities and buying Food Lion gift cards for students in need.

About Food Lion

Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. By leveraging its longstanding heritage of low prices and convenient locations, Food Lion is working to own the easiest full shop grocery experience in the Southeast, anchored by a strong commitment to affordability, freshness and the communities it serves. Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has donated more than 500 million meals to individuals and families since 2014 and has committed to donate 1 billion more meals by 2025. Food Lion is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA, the U.S. division of Zaandam-based Ahold Delhaize. For more information, visit   www.foodlion.com.

About North Carolina Campus Compact

North Carolina Campus Compact is a collaborative network of colleges and universities committed to educating students for civic and social responsibility, partnering with communities for positive change, and strengthening democracy.

About Piedmont Community College

Piedmont Community College, a public two-year institution that provides diverse educational opportunities in a learner-centered environment, serves the citizens of Person and Caswell counties. The College’s mission focuses on assisting individuals to improve their quality of life through offering lifelong learning opportunities, as well as acting as a catalyst for economic development. Learn more at   www.piedmontcc.edu.

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