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2009 News Releases

Longwood’s trayless dining benefits FACES

October 8, 2009

ongwood's trayless dining benefits FACES Longwood Dining Services officials Brenda Ferguson and Grant Avent (left) present a a $1,000 check to (from right) FACES board members Dr. Geoff Orth, Dr. Ellery Sedgwick and Chuck Davison.

As a result of its efforts to promote sustainability and community service, ARAMARK Longwood Dining Services recently presented a check for $1,000 to Farmville Area Community Emergency Services (FACES), a food pantry.

The gift stems from Longwood University's trayless dining hall, which reduces food waste and conserves water, chemicals, and energy. Though many colleges and universities have gone trayless, Longwood furthered the trayless dining initiative by using the trays as a fundraiser to help FACES.

Longwood Dining Services partnered with Longwood's chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national coed service fraternity, and raised the money one tray at a time, selling them for a minimum $1 donation per tray to members of the Longwood and Farmville communities. The Longwood Athletics Department purchased 200 trays to use as noise makers during basketball games, and a summer conference group that met at Longwood bought 250. With help from the Alumni Office, some "Longwood College" trays were sold to alumni who were happy to have them as souvenirs.

"We are proud of our commitment to sustainability and service," said Grant Avent, director of ARAMARK Longwood Dining Services, in presenting the check Oct. 7 to FACES board members Dr. Geoff Orth, Dr. Ellery Sedgwick and Chuck Davison. "Through the support of this program, Longwood students have greatly eliminated waste in the main dining facility and served our community through this donation."

ARAMARK, a national company, conducted a study that found removing trays reduced food waste by 25 to 30 percent. At Longwood, going trayless realized a 64 percent reduction in food waste.

Sedgwick noted that the $1,000 donation will pay for about 5,500 pounds of food. "We appreciate the efforts of Longwood University and Longwood Dining Services to assist our community with providing food for those in need," he said. "This monetary donation is a true blessing, especially during these tough economic times."

FACES, located in Farmville and founded in 1981, gathers and distributes food to neighbors in need, hoping to create a hunger-free community. FACES is currently ranked third in central Virginia in the amount of food distributed. In 2008 some 27,255 bags of food were distributed, each with an average weight of about 10 pounds, resulting in a total of more than 136 tons of food being given away. An average of 469 families were served per week.

Longwood's Alpha Phi Omega chapter has more than 45 members actively involved in service projects across campus and the Farmville community. "The support of the campus and local community has been wonderful and truly shows the spirit of giving," said Ashley Vineyard, who was the chapter's project coordinator last year.