When it comes to community service, the Candler School of Theologys
Candler Childrens Initiative (CCI) is moving beyond small
potatoesmore than 22 tons beyond, in fact.
A Feb. 5 service project organized by the group will take 45,000
pounds of potatoesenough to fill a tractor-trailerand
use them to help fill the coffers of area food banks and other organizations
that distribute food to people in need.
CCI, a student-run group focusing on childrens issues, has
teamed with the Society of St. Andrew, an ecumenical hunger ministry,
to make the Emory campus the site of the societys regional
Potato Drop at noon, Tuesday, Feb. 5, in front of the
Dobbs Center. The drop will be preceded by an ecumenical service
starting at 11 a.m. in Cannon Chapel, led by Ken Horne, executive
director of the Society of St. Andrew, and Marshall Meadors, Candler
Following the service, Horne and Meadors will lead a procession
from the chapel to the site of the Potato Drop.
From there, more than 100 volunteers representing a variety of
theology student groups will load 50-pound bags of potatoes onto
trucks that will disperse the food to area food banks, homeless
shelters and other organizations that help people in need. The Atlanta
Community Food Bank will be one of the primary recipients.
One issue weve focused on is childhood hunger, and
we wanted to do something to help that would bring attention to
that need, said Regina Anderson-Cloud, CCI cochair and a third-year
Candler seminarian. Here in Atlanta, one in five children
go hungry on a regular basis. We wanted to do something to raise
awareness about hunger on the Emory campus and the greater Atlanta
According to the Society of St. Andrew, tons of potatoes and other
produce are often rejected by commercial markets or potato-chip
factories due to slight imperfections in size, shape, sugar content
or surface blemishes. Usually, the produce ends up at local landfills.
Through the Potato Project, these 45,000-pound loads of fresh produce
are redirected to soup kitchens, food pantries, low-income housing
areas, local churches and other hunger agencies for distribution.
The Potato Project delivers about 17 million pounds of food per
year to the nations hungry.
We seek to combine spiritual activities with physical action,
said Heidi Tauscher, CCI cochair. Since the group began last
year, its been a real grassroots effort within the school
and one that people are very passionate about.