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Marching band students help provide meals to WNC residents

potato palooza22


Numerous residents of five Western North Carolina counties who are dealing with food insecurity issues were able to enjoy nutritious meals last Thanksgiving thanks to the efforts of Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band members and Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.

The $2,500 service project was made possible by donations to the Fund for WCU through the Division of Advancement’s 1889 Impact Grants Program.

As part of a Day of Service organized by the CCESL, approximately 250 marching band members gathered on Nov. 17 to purchase, package and distribute 40,000 pounds of raw potatoes to 14 community partners and hunger relief groups in Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, Swain and Transylvania counties, said Cassidy Campbell, assistant director of student community engagement at WCU.

“This service event ties directly into the WCU mission, as it provided an opportunity for both students and community members to improve the lives of individuals and communities across Western North Carolina,” Campbell said. “It was such a success that we will likely be reapplying for funding to hold a similar event.”

Launched in 2021, the 1889 Impact Grants program is designed to provide a consistent source of funding for colleges and other units at WCU in support of initiatives that enhance the engagement of alumni and community stakeholders with the philanthropic activities of the university.

Funding for the program comes from annual contributions to the Fund for WCU, including leadership gifts from members of the 1889 Club, which recognizes donors for gifts made on an annual basis to the Fund for WCU. The club, among four giving societies established by the Division of Advancement to celebrate the impact of philanthropy on the institution, is named in honor of the year of WCU’s founding.

Eleven projects were selected to receive a total of $40,000 in grant funding during the program’s inaugural year.

Learn more about how the Fund for WCU and 1889 Impact Grants provided support for this project.

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