Team IAA takes on 2021 CROP Hunger Walk

Twenty-three students, 3.7 miles, and a handful of onesies – these are numbers that describe Team IAA’s CROP Hunger Walk. The most critical number of all, however, is the $1600 raised to combat food insecurity. 

The CROP Hunger Walk is an annual event where teams come together to walk and raise money to support organizations, like the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, that are implementing sustainable solutions to poverty. After the strenuous Fall 2 module, the IAA student body supported a great cause, learned about the realities of food insecurity, and had some Halloween fun.

Mapping the Route

The primary goal at the forefront of everyone’s mind was creating a successful event and garnering as many donations as possible. To reach this goal, the team leveraged the IAA’s vast alumni network for support. In addition, the team contacted the faculty to promote the Hunger Walk on social media. While these measures utilized the resources at the IAA’s disposal, the team was yet to tap into another resource –  the Class of 2022’s propensity for having a good time. Why not have the Hunger Walk on Halloween and encourage people to participate in costumes? Raising money to help combat food insecurity is excellent, but doing so dressed as Buffy the Vampire Slayer is even better.

Warming Up

While garnering interest and donations, the team also selected a location and mapped out a route for the walk. With the event approaching quickly, not only had a group of students committed to participating, but an even larger group had donated and shown support. From TAs to professors to Dr. Rappa himself, the IAA had come together as a community to support the Hunger Walk. With all this positive momentum behind Team IAA, the subcommittee turned its focus to the day of the walk.

Tie Your Shoes & Put on Your Costume

On a pleasant Sunday afternoon, twenty-three IAA students gathered at Pullen Park. If one were to look around, they would notice children, friends, and even man’s best friend, some in costumes ranging from Pikachu to Jon Snow and everything in between. After fueling up on some Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee, the breakfast of champions, the group set out on its trek. 

From Pullen Park to NC State’s Campus to Cameron Village, the scenic, 3.7-mile walk provided a bonding experience for participating students and some food for thought, as 3.7 miles represents how far many worldwide, on average, have to walk to obtain food for themselves and their families. This realization resonated with participants and made the walk that much more meaningful for everyone involved. The CROP Hunger Walk provided a fantastic opportunity for students to have fun while raising money for an important cause; however, it also offered some insight into the harsh reality of those who suffer from food insecurity.

A Treat at the Finish Line

When all was said and done, the students at the IAA had some sweaty Halloween costumes, a fun afternoon, and successfully walked to help combat food insecurity. Through contributions and participation, the IAA showed that it is a community of thoughtful and generous people. Demonstrating empathy, ethical behavior, and compassion are essential skills in all areas of life, from school to work to one’s personal life.

In the end, it was a treat watching costumed IAA students come together for the CROP Hunger Walk and even more of a treat to raise $1600 to combat food insecurity.

Columnist: Food Insecurity Subcommittee