Campus Kitchen, in conjunction with student and staff leaders, organized a three-day food drive for the students who stayed on campus over the Christmas break.
Adrian Bone, a sophomore economics major from New Market and student government association (SGA) senator, along with Sarah Gillis, a freshman communications major from Montgomery and Freshman Forum student welfare committee chair, approached Livingston as well as other campus leaders to organize a food drive for the international students, the group vastly affected by food insecurity on campus.
“With the growing need of students on campus and large amount of food insecurity, we’re trying to transition to how can we serve students who need food here on campus,” said Avery Livingston, the coordinator of civic engagement.
According to Livingston, food insecurity is rising among students due to the rising cost of higher education.
“Food insecurity means that you’re not confident in where your next meal is gonna come from,” Livingston said. “That could be you don’t have enough money to get it, or you don’t know where you’re gonna eat it.”
“I heard a guy say how saga wasn’t open the week before classes started, and so he didn’t have anything to eat,” Gillis said. “It just broke my heart because Troy prides itself on being an international school, prides itself on all the international students that are here, and if they can’t even have the means to eat, what does that say about us?”
With help from Maria Frigge, associate dean of international student services, Ibrahim Yildirim, the general manager of Sodexo, and Herbert Reeves, dean of student services, Bone and Gillis started gathering donations from campus organizations for the drive.
Christian Beason, a senior computer science major from San Diego, California, who stayed on campus because of work and being a long distance from home, said he appreciated that people donated to the drive.
“I mean, it helped me have snacks,” Beason said. “It wasn’t a whole lot of food stuff when I was there, but it was useful.”
Campus Kitchen delivered over a thousand repackaged, untouched meals from the Dining Hall last semester, according to Livingston.
“That’s a lot of food that was gonna be put in the trash, so a good summary of what campus kitchen does is combats food waste,” Livingston said. “It teaches really good kitchen management skills as well as its great volunteer opportunity on campus.”
“You can walk into the Dining hall any Thursday or any Friday and pack and deliver. We pack on Thursdays at 2 p.m., and we deliver at 1 p.m. on Fridays.”
According to Livingston, Campus Kitchen is working with the Montgomery Food Bank on a possible mobile food pantry project.
The food drive was not directed solely toward the international students, and Livingston said that the turnout at the drive was a mixture of both domestic and international students.