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Fighting Hunger & Food Insecurity

NCCE seeks to support our member colleges and universities as they respond to the needs of their campus and community. Since 2010, addressing food insecurity, especially among students, has been a special focus of our network. In addition to hosting the NC Hunger Corps AmeriCorps VISTA, we have engaged in the activities below.

2023 NC Collegiate Hunger Challenge

Participating Campuses:

Alamance Community College

Appalachian State University

Central Piedmont Community College

Durham Technical Community College

Elizabeth City State University

Greensboro College

Guilford College


High Point University

NC Central University

North Carolina A&T State University

Piedmont Community College

UNC Pembroke

UNC Wilmington



The 2023 Challenge runs from September 11, 2023 to December 22, 2023.

Exciting Change coming…$5,000 Sector Prizes!

For the 2023 Challenge, rather than awarding 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes to the top scores overall, we are awarding one overall prize of $10,000 plus a $5000 prize to the top prize winner from each sector (community college, four-year public, four-year private). We believe this will allow the smaller campuses a better chance of winning a prize.

Spring 2023 – Campus Food Pantry Support

The following NCCE member campuses received support for their on-campus food pantry. Thanks to Food Lion for their ongoing support to address student food insecurity.

Grant Recipients ($1000) Food Lion Gift Cards ($500)
Greensboro College
NC State University
UNC Asheville
UNC School of the Arts
Western Carolina University
William Peace University
Alamance Community College
Lenoir-Rhyne University
NC A&T State University
Winston-Salem State University

Food Lion Feeds Logo

NC Collegiate Hunger Partnership 

Since 2018, NCCE has partnered with Food Lion, LLC grocery stores, and their Food Lion Feeds initiative to address food insecurity and fight hunger. 

Hunger Campaign and Challenge

A key component of this partnership is the annual NC Collegiate Hunger Campaign and Challenge. Through the Challenge, NC colleges and universities raise awareness about and engage in activities to fight food insecurity. They compete to win prizes to support their local hunger-related initiatives, such as campus-based food pantries, campus or community gardens, food recovery efforts, and fresh produce distribution. Twenty-eight NCCE member campuses have participated to date. 

As part of the challenge, each school selects one or two MVP Student Hunger Ambassadors responsible for leading the effort. Each participating school receives funds to support the activities and to provide a stipend to the student Ambassador(s).  


NCCE members who have participated in the Challenge:

  1. Alamance Community College
  2. Appalachian State University
  3. Bennett College
  4. Campbell University
  5. Central Piedmont  Community College
  6. Davidson College
  7. Davidson-Davie Community College
  8. Durham Technical Community College
  9. East Carolina University
  10. Elizabeth City State University
  11. Fayetteville State University
  12. Greensboro College
  13. Guilford College
  14. Guilford Technical Community College
  15. High Point University
  16. Lenoir-Rhyne University
  17. NC A & T State University
  18. NC Central University
  19. NC State University
  20. Pfeiffer University
  21. Piedmont Community College
  22. Queens University of Charlotte
  23. UNC Charlotte
  24. UNC Greensboro
  25. UNC Pembroke
  26. UNC Wilmington
  27. Wake Forest University
  28. Wake Technical Community College
  29. Western Carolina University
  30. Wingate University


Challenge Winners 2022

1st place – UNC Charlotte ($10,000)

2nd place – UNC Pembroke ($7,000)

3rd place – East Carolina University ($3,000)

Social Media Prize –  NC Central University
($1,000 FL gift card)

Souper Bowl Food Drive Winner – ECU
($1,000 FL gift card)

Challenge Winners 2021

1st place – East Carolina University ($10,000)

2nd place – UNC Pembroke ($7,000)

3rd place – Piedmont Community College ($3,000)

Social Media Prize – Davidson College
($1,000 FL gift card)

Challenge Winners 2020

Two months into the 2020 spring competition, we had to suspend the campaign due to COVID. Despite this challenge, each participating institution received a $1,000 prize to help alleviate food insecurity that was especially exacerbated due to the pandemic. The Student Ambassadors also  received their stipend.

Special congratulations to North Carolina A&T State University who won the social media prize: a $1,000 gift card to support their on-campus food pantry.  

Challenge Winners 2018-19

Elizabeth City State University ($10,000)

NC Central University ($10,000)

Campus Food Pantry Resource Support 

In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, NCCE and Food Lion Feeds first partnered to offer gift cards to campuses to help them stock their on-campus food pantries and toiletry closets to support students remaining on campuses and/or who live locally and have need. We were able to provide $250 Food Lion gift cards to 13 campuses in the NCCE campus network. 

In March 2022, we hosted a formal mini-grant process to support existing or developing on-campus food pantries. We were able to provide eleven campuses  with a $1,000 grant plus a $500 Food Lion gift card. Two additional campuses received a $1,000 and a $500 grant only. 

Related Projects to Fight Hunger & Food Insecurity

Over the years, NCCE has hosted a variety of stand-alone or short-term initiatives and events related to food insecurity and hunger to support our member colleges and universities 

Fall 2015 – Food Access Learning Community for staff and faculty engaged in food access and fighting hunger activities.

May 2014 –  “Establishing and Maintaining a Campus-Based Food Pantry”  (webinar) 

Winter 2014-15 –  Hunger Solutions webinar series (partnership with AARP-NC)

2010-2013 – NCCE AmeriCorps VISTA program focused on hunger alleviation and program development. The 34 VISTA members, who were placed on member campuses throughout the state, assessed local food insecurity needs and developed strategies and programs and coordinated programming for “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness” week.

Fall 2012 & 2013 –  NCCE sponsored two “NC Campuses Against Hunger” conferences to explore hunger-related issues.

November 2011 to March 2012  – The “Statewide Challenge to End Hunger” promoted and collated campus efforts to address food insecurity. Thirteen NC Campus Compact members participated resulting in 19,946 pounds of food and 15,297 food items collected; 107,457 meals created or served; 7253 volunteer hours and $21,802 funds raised.