Troy University’s Office of Civic Engagement received a boost to its efforts in battling food insecurity in the local area.
On Tuesday, Publix of Troy presented a check for $1,400 to University representatives to help with programs such as Campus Kitchens, Backpacks for Kids and community gardens, which are all a part of the office’s efforts to provide food to those in need in Troy and Pike County.
“I think it is important for us to be in the community and for our customers to know that the money stays in the community to help those in need here,” said Chad Arthur, store manager. “We have already partnered with the Office of Civic Engagement in other ways, so this presentation builds on that ongoing relationship and will help with the food needs of those who need it.”
Lauren Cochran, coordinator of the Office of Civic Engagement, said since opening in TROY, Publix has been a tremendous partner with the University’s efforts.
“We are extremely grateful for this donation,” Cochran said. “This will go a long way in helping to support our efforts through programs such as Campus Kitchens to fight food insecurity in our local community.”
Cochran said community support such as Tuesday’s donation helps her office’s efforts in a number of ways.
“This will help us purchase supplies and materials necessary to help us redirect food through our Campus Kitchens program, but we also hope that seeing this type of community support will encourage students to be involved in our efforts to help those in the local community,” she said.
Recent figures place the percentage of food insecure Pike County residents at more than 20 percent. TROY’s Campus Kitchens project is an affiliate of a national organization that has chapters on college and university campuses throughout the country. The student-powered partnership between the Office of Civic Engagement and Sodexo Dining Services utilizes unused excess food from TROY’s Trojan Dining to prepare meals for local partners who serve children and the elderly.
In addition, the office has an active community garden project through area schools, organizations and the Colley Senior Center, and uses these efforts to provide nutrition awareness and education programs.
Through all of the office’s programs, students learn the importance of making a difference in their communities, a lesson that they take with them once they leave TROY.