Each year, for the past six years, WINK News hosts a hunger walk to raise funds for the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Since the start, Florida Gulf Coast University staff and students have been involved.
FGCU’s first lady Jo Anna Bradshaw brought attention to this issue at the University. She gathered eager students and initiated FGCU Cares, FGCU Cares Athletics and FGCU Cares Student Services. The money raised by these teams not only helps eliminate hunger in Southwest Florida, but benefits the FGCU Campus Food Pantry and the students who experience food insecurity. Even after knee replacement surgery Bradshaw has stayed on the ball
“This year’s goal for the Hunger Walk is $300,000, which will result in $1.8 million in food value being distributed,” Bradshaw said.
The current goal for the FGCU Cares teams is $16,300. So far, they have completed 55 percent of their goal at $9,060. Passionately engaged, FGCU has been a gold sponsor and has earned the award “#1 University” from the Harry Chapin Food Bank for raising the most funds.
Maureen Jenny, coordinator in the Office of Equity and Diversity at FGCU, is the captain of the 2014 FGCU Cares teams for the WINK News Hunger Walk. As captain, she has advertised the event on campus by speaking to interested students and by hanging up banners in posters.
“I like to communicate with individuals on a personal level when they join the team, and make them feel their contribution is valued,” Jenny said.
Jenny was on the FGCU Food Pantry committee as the development chair. She said she got involved in hopes of stamping out hunger, especially on campus. She also mentioned the alarming statistic that 40 percent of those receiving food assistance are children, and 10 percent are senior citizens.
“The Walk Day itself is a big celebration of everyone’s efforts to raise money up to that point. It warms my heart to know that so many people care, and that a simple event can result in such a large contribution,” Jenny said. The WINK News Hunger Walk will take place at the Miromar Outlet Mall in the northwest lot. All walkers need to sign up online before the event on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m. If students wish to get involved, they can start a team, join an FGCU Cares team, pledge a contribution, or attend the event to support those in the walk. FGCU Athletics will all be in attendance, dressed in uniform to signify FGCU’s involvement. In order for students to start their own teams, they must add “2014 FGCU” in the title if they wish to benefit the FGCU Food Pantry.