Fresh produce will be available to less fortunate families in 18 counties in North Carolina this fall thanks to the volunteer efforts of Wake Forest University Schools of Business students.
Sixty-five Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accountancy, and Master of Arts in Management students took the Community Plunge on Saturday, Aug. 21 at the Food Bank Community Garden located on two acres of land at the Children’s Home in Winston-Salem.
“There’s no better way to get to know your classmates than by doing some hard work together,” said Renata Johnson (MSA ’11) as she pulled up old tomato plants to make room for new crops.
Andrew Verga (MBA ’11), President of the WFU Schools of Business Net Impact Chapter, organized this year’s Community Plunge day with a goal of introducing classmates to ways they can make an impact on social and environmental issues throughout the school year. “This emphasizes that community involvement, sustainability and charity work are crucial aspects of any management education,” he said.
The Food Bank Community Garden is the primary source of fresh produce for the Second Harvest Food Bank. The produce is also used in the Triad Community Kitchen to help train local residents for food service industry jobs.
“We are so grateful to have this group helping because it is going to make it possible for us to grow fall crops. Usually in the past, the crops have ended in the summer, but now we can grow a lot more food for the food bank,” said Ellen Kirby, coordinator, Food Bank Community Garden.
“We are all here because we have been given a lot of opportunities and we have worked hard to get here. We are certainly blessed. It gives us a good chance to reflect on our individual situations and help give opportunities to others,” said David Madison (MBA ’11).
The opportunity to work in the Food Bank Community Garden was one that Crystal Yun Guo (MSA ’11) would not miss. She enjoyed seeing crops go from seeds to the table when she volunteered at gardens in her home country of China. “I think everyone has a responsibility to others and to nature,” said Guo.
Dean of Business Steve Reinemund thanked the students for taking time on a Saturday to work in the community garden. “It’s a great way to start your academic career at Wake Forest by getting involved in our long standing tradition of giving back to the community,” he said.
The Community Plunge closed out a series of orientation activities that started the prior week.