August 14, 2018  

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USM Students Bag Sweet Potatoes to Help Raise Food Insecurity Awareness

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USM students bag sweet potatoes as part of a volunteer effort to aid Pine Belt area organizations. (Photo by Kelly Dunn)

A steady stream of students stopped by to participate in the Sweet Potato Drop held Wednesday, Oct. 11 at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus. The event was held to address and raise awareness about food insecurity in the Pine Belt area.

And 18-wheeler loaded with approximately 20,000 pounds of sweet potatoes was parked on the paved area between USM’s Cook Library and Centennial Green. Volunteers bagged the sweet potatoes into individual family-sized sacks, which were donated to three local organizations: Edwards Street Fellowship Center, The Salvation Army of Hattiesburg, and Christian Services. 

The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) at USM partnered with The Society of St. Andrew on the Sweet Potato Drop. The Society of St. Andrew salvages produce that is rejected by commercial markets because of slight imperfections in size, shape, sugar content, or surface blemishes.