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UAlbany Students “Show Up” to Support the Regional Food Bank

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 19, 2014) – More than 200 University at Albany students volunteered at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York on Saturday, Sept. 13, as part of an on-going effort to display the University’s commitment to the local community.

Volunteers were recruited from UAlbany’s Living-Learning Communities (L-LCs), a program that pairs on-campus housing with freshmen and transfer students who share similar academic goals and interests. Some L-LCs include: World of Accounting, World of Art, World of Community Service, World of Environmental Sustainability and World of Laws and Justice.

Students signed-up for two-hour shifts at either the Regional Food Bank’s Patroon Land Farm in Voorheesville, N.Y. or its main facility in Latham, N.Y. On the farm, volunteers helped weed, harvest, wash and box produce, while those at the facility sorted and packaged food and non-food products for distribution.

“I can’t remember this many people from one organization all volunteering in one day in our 32-year history,” said Mark Quandt, Regional Food Bank Executive Director. “Student volunteers got a tremendous amount done at both of our locations. Their efforts will enable us to get good quality food to thousands of hungry people in Eastern New York.”

Regional Foodbank Volunteers

Student volunteers at the Regional Food Bank’s Patroon Land Farm in Voorheesville, N.Y. help box produce before shipping to the organization's main facility. The food bank collects donated food and distributes to 1,000 charitable agencies across Northeastern New York. (Photo by Bill Pyke) 

Michelle Feder, a UAlbany student and community assistant for the Community Service L-LC, organizes UAlbany’s partnership with the Regional Food Bank. Feder and fellow students from the World of Community Service have been volunteering since 2011. The initiative was open to all L-LC students for the first time this year.

“It’s the most humbling experience to see my excitement for community service rub off on so many people,” Feder said. “To see hundreds of students come out for a good cause was rewarding. We’re so thankful for all the L-LCs willing to help make this volunteer event something special.”

Feder is pursuing a Ph.D. through UAlbany’s Department of Education Administration and Policy Studies. In 2011, she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UAlbany. Feder has positioned herself as a community service activist, expanding various campus fundraising events, food drives and volunteer recruitment initiatives. Last April, she was awarded the University at Albany President’s Award for Exemplary Community Engagement.

In 2013, UAlbany President Robert Jones challenged the campus to log at least two-and-a-half million community engagement hours every year. Currently, some 7,400 UAlbany students contribute to local communities through volunteer work, courses or internships annually.

“My goal is to get students to realize they can impact a larger community than just the UAlbany campus,” Feder said. “Volunteering with an organization like the Regional Food Bank offers students a chance to feel more connected, help a great cause and spread awareness of the issue at hand.”

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is a not-for-profit organization that collects donated food and distributes it to 1,000 charitable agencies across Northeastern New York. The food provided by the Regional Food Bank helps to feed 40,000 people each week. Learn more by visiting www.regionalfoodbank.net.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.