Gamecocks fighting hunger in the Midlands

The University of South Carolina will host its first campuswide Gamecocks Fighting Hunger event Nov. 17 to assemble 25,000 meals for those suffering from hunger in the Midlands.

Work has begun to raise $7,750 before the event. Tom Syfert, Carolina’s director of environmental health and safety who brought the program to Carolina, says fundraising is often the hardest part in this type of effort.

“We can always get volunteers,” Syfert says. “The difficult part is raising money.”

Syfert, along with a group of Green Quad students, volunteered with Feeding Children Everywhere earlier this semester. After that experience, the students were ready to help Syfert bring a similar event to campus, he says. Because of the high student interest, Syfert asked Hayley Efland and her Sustainability and Leadership class to help plan and organize the project.  

Efland, the assistant director for student engagement in the Office of Sustainability, is teaching a Sustainability and Leadership University 201 class that took on the management of this event. Her students are working on all aspects of the event management, as well as contacting donors and local businesses for financial help.

“This is a great representation of what sustainability looks like outside of environmental science,” Efland says.

The class is made up of 15 students from psychology, public health and environmental science, among other majors. The goal of the class, Efland says, is to show how sustainability is something that can be integrated into any career.

“This class and this project aim to teach students about sustainability’s triple bottom line: people, planet, profit,” Efland says. “Something truly sustainable will address all three of these pillars, and this project does that. The profit component is addressed through fundraising and the low cost of each meal. The planet component is achieved with the distribution of these meals, as they will be delivered within the midlands, rather than transported hundreds or even thousands of miles away. The people component of this project, and most obvious, is fighting hunger.  A big part of sustainability is ensuring basic human needs are met.”

This event will take place in the Bates House Social Room on Nov. 17. Visit the event website for more information or to donate.

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