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UNC students gather food donations in ‘trick-or-feed’ event

Despite a cold rain, more than 50 UNC students went door-to-door in Meadowmont and Southern Village to collect food for local children Monday afternoon.

The students gathered donations for TABLE, a Carrboro non-profit that feeds hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, as part of its third annual “trick-or feed” event. The event is the largest food drive TABLE does on its own, said TABLE’s executive director, Joy MacVane.

Though this year’s drive is believed to have collected less food than last year — totals aren’t in yet — MacVane said the event shows the community that UNC students are service-minded.

“It combats some of the stereotypes of the college students on Franklin Street,” she said. “There are also students giving back to the community on Halloween.”

TABLE is a town-grown organization that MacVane founded with a group of UNC students four years ago, she said.

“Carolina students still make up most of our volunteer teams and are the leaders of all our volunteer teams.”

TABLE provides weekend backpacks of food for kids who get free or reduced meals at school. One Chapel Hill-Carrboro elementary school student in every four doesn’t have enough to eat, according to TABLE’s website.

“Childhood hunger doesn’t take the weekend off,” MacVane said.

Last year, TABLE collected more than 2,000 pounds of food through the Halloween event — enough food for about 250 children for a weekend, she said.

Sara Skelton, a junior political science and international studies double major from Charlotte, is TABLE’s campus outreach coordinator.

She was in charge of the event this year for the first time, and helped recruit participants and alert residents to the activity.

Shaina Ly and Shirin Negmadjanova, members of a chemistry honors society, went door-to-door with Galen Tsun and Kavita Gupta, members of the chemistry fraternity. They were responsible for Greenview Drive and Parkside Circle.

Despite the rain, Ly, a senior chemistry major from Charlotte, said she enjoyed the experience.

“The weather is just bad,” Ly said. “But it’s a great cause.”

Skelton said she thinks this year’s event may have been less successful than last year due to the rain and the fact that Halloween fell on a Monday.

At 6 p.m., when the event was ending, Leighann Breeze, TABLE’s program director, estimated that about 500 pounds of food had been brought in, though all the collectors weren’t back yet.

TABLE will weigh and total the food collected later this week.

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