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Student-led hunger challenge addresses food insecurity; a total of $25,000 will be awarded

SALISBURY, NC – Marking its fifth year, a transformative program tackling food insecurity on college campuses is underway in North Carolina. A collaboration between Food Lion Feeds and North Carolina Campus Engagement empowers students at 14 North Carolina colleges and universities to create awareness about hunger and compete against one another to collect the most food for neighbors experiencing hunger through the Food Lion Feeds Collegiate Hunger Challenge. Food Lion Feeds is Food Lion’s hunger-relief platform, and North Carolina Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities committed to educating students on civic and social responsibility.

During the competition, Food Lion Feeds and North Carolina Campus Engagement will award a total of $25,000 to winning colleges for their efforts to fight hunger on and around their campuses. New this year, the partnership will award one $10,000 overall prize and a $5,000 prize from each sector – community college, four-year public college and four-year private institution. Since 2019, the Collegiate Hunger Challenge has awarded more than $135,000, equivalent to more than 1.3 million meals*.


Throughout the challenge, which runs from Sept. 11, 2023, through Dec. 22, 2023, the participating colleges and universities accumulate points through various activities centered around addressing food insecurity and raising awareness about the issue. Since the statewide Collegiate Hunger Challenge began in 2018, 30 North Carolina colleges and universities have participated. Each school selects one or two MVP Student Hunger ambassadors responsible for leading the effort as part of the challenge.


“Identifying solutions for hunger on college campuses and surrounding communities is one of our greatest goals, and we’re excited to join forces with the next generation of leaders,” said Kevin Durkee, Manager, Food Lion Feeds. “In addition to addressing food insecurity in our communities, the Collegiate Hunger Challenge supports our educational partners.”

The Collegiate Hunger Challenge also kicks off in September to align with Hunger Action Month, a time when Food Lion Feeds deepens its extensive existing relationship with Feeding America®. The partnership highlights the impact food can have on a person’s life and inspires action to end hunger within their communities.

“With the increase in food prices and greater demand for on-campus food pantries generally, this partnership is more important than ever,” said Leslie Garvin, Executive Director of North Carolina Campus Engagement. “It not only allows our campuses to raise awareness about student food insecurity, but it also increases the visibility of the resources available to students. We continue to salute Food Lion for their commitment to addressing food insecurity on campuses and beyond.”


The Collegiate Hunger Challenge is one of many efforts Food Lion Feeds leads during Hunger Action Month. In addition to this challenge, Food Lion Feeds will remodel and stock the shelves of nearly 30 food pantries across its 10-state operating area through its annual event, The Great Pantry Makeover. During this 30-day effort, Food Lion associates will volunteer for activities such as painting and cleaning pantries to installing shelving, freezers, coolers and other equipment to expand the capacity for fresh fruits, vegetables and other products. Additionally, Food Lion Feeds kicked off its fifth season of Sack to Give Back, teaming up with more than 30 colleges and universities to help nourish neighbors experiencing hunger. Through this collaborative and proactive approach to tackle food insecurity, Food Lion Feeds will provide 1,000 meals (up to 30,000 meals per school) for every quarterback sack made by the participating institution to each school’s local Feeding America® partner food bank. In partnership with customers, Food Lion will help provide meals to neighbors experiencing hunger through its annual Food Lion Feeds Apple Bag campaign from Sept. 13 – Oct. 3. The Apple Bag campaign benefits Feeding America and local partner member food banks.


The 2023 Collegiate Hunger Challenge participating North Carolina schools are:


University Partner                                                                City

Alamance Community College                                                   Graham

Appalachian State University                                                     Boone

Bennett College                                                                             Greensboro

Central Piedmont Community College                                    Charlotte

Durham Technical Community College                                   Durham

Elizabeth City State University                                                  Elizabeth City

Greensboro College                                                                      Greensboro

Guilford College                                                                            Greensboro

High Point University                                                                  High Point

North Carolina Central University                                            Durham

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University  Greensboro

Piedmont Community College                                                   Roxboro

University of North Carolina, Pembroke                                  Pembroke

University of North Carolina, Wilmington                              Wilmington


Through Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion has helped to provide more than 1 billion meals to individuals and families since 2014 and has committed to donate 1.5 billion meals by 2025. For more information on Food Lion Feeds’ commitment to ending hunger, visit foodlion.com/feeds.

*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local partner food banks.

About Food Lion

Food Lion is an omnichannel retailer committed to nourishing its neighbors during the moments that matter most. More than 82,000 associates across 1,100+ stores deliver an easy, fresh and affordable shopping experience throughout 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Through its ‘Count on me’ culture, Food Lion fosters a sense of belonging for all associates, promoting a diverse and inclusive environment that has supported LGBTQ+ equality for nearly two decades. Food Lion is the only company in the country to be named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for 22 consecutive years. It also pioneered a food rescue program to support food-insecure neighbors. Through Food Lion Feeds, the retailer has donated more than 1 billion meals to individuals and families since 2014 and has committed to donate 1.5 billion meals by 2025. Founded and based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, Food Lion is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA, the U.S. division of Zaandam-based Ahold Delhaize. For more information, visit foodlion.com.

About North Carolina Campus Engagement

North Carolina Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities committed to educating students for civic and social responsibility, partnering with communities for positive change and strengthening democracy. Learn more at nccampusengagement.org.

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