The Union Recorder

October 30, 2013

Potato Drop helps feed 140,000 individuals

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgia College and community volunteers spent hours sorting and bagging 40,000 pounds of sweet potatoes during the 12th annual Potato Drop event Saturday. 

Their efforts will help feed approximately 140,000 individuals in need.

“We were out at West Campus Saturday and it went extremely well,” said Kendall Stiles, Georgia College GIVE Center director. “We distributed the bags to about 60 nonprofits, faith-based organizations and social service agencies in Baldwin, Hancock, Washington, Wilkinson and Jones counties.”

The purpose of the Potato Drop is to primarily help educate participants about hunger and the amount of perfectly edible food that goes to waste in America, states the Georgia College website. The event begins with a tractor trailer load of potatoes, which are dropped in a parking lot. Volunteers process the load by bagging the potatoes and loading them into transport vehicles for local churches and civic groups. These groups disperse the potatoes to needy families in the area.

“This is an event that helps with immediate hunger and needs, one that helps college students and the rest of the volunteers to understand that there is hunger in our area and surrounding areas. We have to work to end that,” Stiles said. “This is just a small thing we’re doing, but we need more things like this going on.”

Around 250 volunteers donated their time to organize 10 pounds of potatoes per mesh bag, including faculty, staff, students from Georgia College, Georgia Military College, John Milledge Academy and Baldwin High School, local families and individuals within the community.

Held in conjunction with National Make A Difference Day, the event was sponsored by Sodexo, Northridge Christian Church, First United Methodist Church, Coca Cola of Milledgeville, Sonic, Georgia College Athletics, Georgia College Physical Plant and the Department of Transportation.

“I would like to thank Tri-County EMC for giving us an Operation Round Up grant to support this event along with our sponsors and the Society of St. Andrews out of Tifton,” Stiles said. “The potatoes came from south Georgia, so we grew them in Georgia, bagged them in Georgia and consumed them in Georgia.”

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