Statistics show that one in six Western North Carolinians seek food assistance each year, an even higher figure than the national average of one in eight. Partly because of those sobering numbers, Warren Wilson College’s annual Service Day on Aug. 19 will focus on hunger for the second consecutive year.
On that date, about 350 students, faculty and staff from Warren Wilson will travel to 20 project sites in Asheville and Buncombe County to work on food security issues. Work locations include school and community gardens, as well as sites such as Manna FoodBank and Loving Food Resources. Most of the hands-on labor will be done from about 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“For our new students, this day is an opportunity to get to know their new community, laying the groundwork for their civic engagement over the next four years,” Dean of Service Cathy Kramer said. “A number of the groups have specific plans to continue the relationships with their Service Day partners through seminar classes this semester, as well as through more informal contacts.”
Service Day introduces new Warren Wilson students – freshmen and transfer students alike – to the college’s service-learning program. Launched more than half a century ago, the program calls upon each undergraduate student to contribute 100 hours of service to community over four years and to make a strong commitment to civic engagement. In recent years, the college’s approximately 900 undergraduates have annually surpassed 30,000 hours of service to community.