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University of Mary Washington collects 3,500 pounds in community food drive

Many local families in need had food on the table this Thanksgiving thanks to students at University of Mary Washington (UMW). 

Sodexo, dining services partner to the university, teamed with the UMW Athletic Department and raised over 3,500 pounds of food in a community drive. 

All food collected was donated to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, an organization that helps to provide nutritious food to over 17,000 people each month through a network of more than 70 non-profit and faith based organizations throughout the community.

Student athletes manned collection tables outside the Giant Food Store and distributed collection bags throughout the campus neighborhood.  

Sodexo’s student marketing workers helped sell canned goods outside the Eagle's Nest retail store for a final collection push. 

“I’d like to thank Coach Hall and Rose Benedict of Sodexo Dining Services for all of your work behind the scenes,” said Philip Pierce, Director of Athletic Development and Head of the Student Athletic Advisory Council for UMW. “Without the guidance of Coach Hall and the partnership from UMW Dining Services, we could not have reached these new heights.”

In Planning District 16, which includes the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George, and the city of Fredericksburg,  more than 40 in 100 client households are experiencing very low food security—or hunger—a 33 percent increase in the number of households compared to four years ago. 

An estimated 3,000 people receive emergency food assistance each week from a food pantry, soup kitchen, or other agency served by the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.

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