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Together We Can

Wolfpack fans can help a statewide residential magnet school shatter a Guinness world record by donating canned food during Saturday’s NC State-Georgia Tech men’s basketball matchup at the RBC Center.

Campus leaders hope to generate 10,000 pounds of non-perishable donations in support of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) – the only high school in the 17-institution, multi-campus UNC system – and its plan to collect 550,000 pounds of food over a single 24-hour period on March 5.

Saturday’s event is co-sponsored by Student Government‘s Community Service Commission and the Hunger & Homelessness Committee of the Service Leadership Team – an extension of NC State’s Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service (CSLEPS).

Linwood Joyner ('13)
Linwood Joyner

“While students receive a classroom education in accordance to their majors and areas of interest, this event allows them to become educated about hunger issues occurring in the world around them,” said Linwood Joyner (’13), co-chair of Student Government’s Community Service Commission.

“It’s important for Student Government, CSLEPS and most of all, NC State, to be a part of an event that focuses on helping end hunger, starting right here in our own backyard.”

In addition to NC State, four other universities – East Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central – have agreed to participate in the food drive, said event coordinator Sue Anne Lewis.

“It gives all of us a chance to work together to achieve a higher goal and help others in need,” said Lewis, NCSSM’s student life instructor. “We have a lot of students who end up at NC State, and it gives them a chance to come back and help their alma mater provide significant aid to those in the surrounding community.

“The opportunity for our current students to see students from NC State and the other system schools participating really drives home the point that volunteerism continues beyond the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and it’s something you can do no matter where you are at.”

Additionally, money given through the NCSSM’s Virtual Food Drive (which ends Sunday, Feb. 27 at midnight) will also be put toward the school’s record-breaking attempt. Every dollar donated will be used to purchase 2.5 pounds of food in advance of the March 5 event.

All donations will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, which provides emergency food for approximately 73,000 residents each week across 34 North Carolina counties.

Chris Adkins ('11)
Chris Adkins

“It’s important to put together great events to support causes on our own, but also to support those in the community the best we can as well,” said Chris Adkins (’12), director of hunger & homelessness issues at CSLEPS. “This event is sure to give some exposure to hunger in our local community – and perhaps even the world – that students may not have heard of otherwise.”

Student body president Kelly Hook said she’s certain the Wolfpack faithful will rise to the occasion and fill RBC Center food bins on Saturday.

“Will NC State students and alumni really bring 10,000 pounds of canned food to the game?” she asked. “I know that we can, and this is a call to all members of the Wolfpack family to contribute to the effort.

“Let’s showcase NC State’s service-oriented mindset by donating some cans on our way into the game and, as a reward, we’ll watch the Wolfpack crush a few Yellow Jackets!”

Editor’s Note: From 6-9 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 24), the Ben & Jerry’s location on Hillsborough St. will earmark 15% of its profits to purchase food for the event. In addition, NCSSM needs to fill more than 800 volunteer slots at its March 5 food drive – email Lewis to participate or to receive more information.