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Release date:
Jan. 31, 2002
Contact: Elaine Justice, Associate Director: 404-727-0643 or ejustic@emory.edu

Students Organize Potato Drop for the Hungry

A Feb. 5 community-service project organized by students at Emory's Candler School of Theology was no small potatoes event. Students helped distribute 45,000 thousand pounds of potatoes-enough to fill a tractor-trailer and help fill the coffers of area food banks and charitable organizations.

The Candler Children's Initiative, a student-run group at the seminary, teamed with the Society of St. Andrew, an ecumenical hunger ministry, to make the Emory campus the site of the society's regional "Potato Drop" at noon Feb. 5 on campus.

The "Potato Drop" was preceded by an ecumenical service. Ken Horne, executive director of the Society of St. Andrew; and retired United Methodist Bishop Marshall Meadors, Candler's bishop-in-residence, led the service then led a procession to the site of the "Potato Drop."

From there student and faculty volunteers loaded 50-pound bags of potatoes onto smaller trucks that will disperse the food to area food banks, homeless shelters and other organizations that help people in need.

"Here in Atlanta, one in five children go hungry on a regular basis," says Regina Anderson-Cloud, initiative co-chair and a third-year Candler student. "We wanted to do something to help that would bring attention to that need."

According to the Society of St. Andrew, tons of potatoes and other produce are often rejected by commercial markets due to slight imperfections. Usually, the produce ends up at 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.
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