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.
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. Thirty-five 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).
2022 NC Collegiate Hunger Challenge
The 2022 Hunger Challenge campaign runs from September 26, 2022 -January 6, 2023. Fourteen NCCE member campuses are competing for up to $10,000 in cash awards and gift cards to support campus-led food insecurity initiatives.
2022 NC Collegiate Hunger Challenge participating institutions:
Appalachian State University
Central Piedmont Community College
Davidson-Davie Community College
Durham Technical Community College
East Carolina University
Elizabeth City State University
Fayetteville State University
NC Central University
Piedmont Community College
Queens University of Charlotte
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.