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W&M community addresses hunger during Thanksgiving month

{{youtube:medium:left|KShvxThTreU, W&M students and alumni pitch in to "Stop Hunger Now"}}

In the month of Thanksgiving, the William & Mary community is hosting a variety of events and efforts that focus on giving to those in need and raising awareness about the issue of hunger.

On Nov. 5, in partnership with Kellogg’s, William & Mary Dining Services launched the “Share Your Bowl” campaign. The campaign is a hunger relief effort in support of The Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula. The idea of “Share Your Bowl” is that for every bowl of cereal consumed during the campaign, an equivalent amount of cereal will be donated to the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula by Kellogg’s. The event will last through Dec. 7. William & Mary aims to reach 40 boxes, resulting in about 6,400 servings of cereal. The results will be revealed in mid-December.

On Saturday, student organization Circle K International (CKI) joined with other student organizations and alumni to hold the "Stop Hunger Now" meal packaging event. The goal of the event was to provide 10,000 meals for hungry children overseas. Staying Connected, an alumni organization led by Van Black '75, helped pack the meals. 

“This is an example of working with multiple student organizations who have a common purpose around children and hunger and connecting them with alums and our own resources to help with specific causes that are important to them," said Black.

Tim Cunningham '00 of “Clowns Without Borders” was also at the event where he spoke about the importance of bringing laughter and joy as well as hunger and medical relief to children in need.

This week, the Office of Community Engagement (OCS) is hosting a “Hunger Challenge,” which asks participants to live on no more than $4.31 a day, spending a total of $21.55 for the entire workweek -- the average amount that people receive from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or "food stamps." During the challenge, only food personally purchased can be eaten, as well as food offered by others and free food given at events. Receipts must be kept, also.

On Thursday at noon in the Blow 3rd floor lounge, students and non-profit leaders will talk about their experiences with the challenge and hunger issues that affect the local community. The same day, the documentary "Sharing Our Strength" will be screened at 7 p.m. in Tyler 201. Students are also encouraged to e-mail their reflections on the challenge to OCE, which will publish them on the OCE website.

Students organize food during last year's Turkeypalooza event.The Campus Kitchen at W&M has also been busy this month planning for its annual Turkeypalooza event, which aims to buy turkeys for those in need in the local community. The Campus Kitchen hopes to purchase more than 50 turkeys and other Thanksgiving food items this year. On Tuesday, the Campus Kitchen held a Thanksgiving dinner for the residents of the Blayton Building. On Friday, the William & Mary Law School will hold a food drive that goes toward Turkeypalooza. Finally, on Nov. 20, turkeys and other food items collected will be distributed to designated neighborhoods.

"It is too often overlooked that there is a great disparity of wealth and resources in our local Williamsburg community," said Daniel Rissman, public relations and communications chair for the Campus Kitchen at W&M. "Campus Kitchens' Turkeypalooza serves as a unique way for us to help carry the burden and share the holiday with those in need. Delivering more than 50 turkeys this week will be an exceptional supplement to the 9,000 meals we deliver yearly.”