Center for Housing Equity and Opportunity in Eastern Connecticut launches with inaugural gathering at Conn
Once a year for more than 30 years, nearly two-thirds of Connecticut College students have donated their dining hall dinners to Oxfam, a nonprofit that works to end world poverty. This year, the College is also making a difference in the local community, donating a portion of the proceeds to the New London Community Meal Center and providing food to the center through a new initiative.
More than 1,170 students donated their meals Nov. 19 by signing up to have their meal cards deactivated for the evening. Dining Services donated $3.15 for each deactivated card.
Four local restaurants - Campus Pizza, Mr. G's, Hot Rod Cafe and Northern India also participated, donating 10 percent of the proceeds from meals sold to Connecticut College students on the same evening.
Half of the $3,694.94 raised was donated to Oxfam, and the other half went to the New London Community Meal Center.
"Connecticut College started to donate half of the Oxfam proceeds to the meal center a few years ago, because the students thought it was important to assist the underserved members in our local community," Student Government Association President Peter Friedrichs '10 said.
This year, the College is also donating unused food to the meal center three times a week.
Michael Meade '10, a member of Linking New London and Connecticut College Communities (LINCC), a committee that helps build connections between the College and the city, and Mike Kmec, board plan manager for the College's Dining Services, developed a program based on New York's City Harvest, a food rescue organization that helps feed needy individuals by gathering quality unused food from restaurants. Through the program, unused food from Connecticut College's dining halls will be regularly donated to the meal center.
The College made its first contribution Nov. 10.
"The food was very good," Peta Madry, the center's chef manager, said. "I was really impressed."
Though each donation from the College is not huge, Madry says any donation helps, and the effect will be felt over time.
-Caroline Gransee '09