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Sweet Potato Drop planned to help fight hunger

November 10, 2010

BB Staff Writer

The Student Dietetic Association and Sigma Alpha Lambda are co-hosting the Sweet Potato Drop in a group effort to relieve hunger in our state.
Volunteers are needed to bag sweet potatoes, while having fun and helping a great cause. The event is Friday from 8 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of the Palmeiro Center.
“The overall goal for the Sweet Potato Drop is to bag up the potatoes that did not get sold to grocery stores. The bags will then be delivered all around the area to families in need, shelters, etc.,” said Stephanie Allen, secretary of the Student Dietetic Association.
“Students can definitely expect lots of potatoes. We put about ten potatoes in each bag, tie them up, and place them in a pile, and they’ll get shipped off to the Mississippi Food Network,” states Shiloh Quintana, senior nutrition major and four-year member of SDA.
Quintana adds, “This is my first year being able to participate in the Sweet Potato Drop, but I hear good things. We simply dump a pile of sweet potatoes, and you just dive in! You bag them and load them onto a truck; it’s just people getting all nasty and dirty and getting orange hands from sweet potatoes. We’re just out there having fun getting dirty, and we know it’s for a good cause.”
Allen recommends gloves for those weary of orange hands.
“Students should wear comfortable clothes that they don’t mind getting a little dirty,” Allen said
“The entire process takes about four hours, depending on how many people we have. The more people, the less time it takes.” Allen adds, “If a good number of people show up to help, [we could] be done at 10 a.m.”
If you cannot make it as early as 8 a.m., “people can come and help for as long as it’s convenient for them,” said Quintana. Any and all help is appreciated.
“Come out, get dirty, and bring warm clothes because it’s going to be cold!”
“[SDA was] looking for a community service project to take on, and since the Sweet Potato Drop involved food, we thought it would be perfect for the Student Dietetic Association!  This event will not only show the diversity of MSU students working together, but it will show us working together for a cause,” states Allen.
SDA’s goals are to “promote healthy lifestyles at MSU and the surrounding community through awareness and involvement in key areas as identified by the American Dietetic Association, to encourage professional development among members, and to promote and encourage membership for all nutrition students.”
The Student Dietetic Association remains devoted to Bulldog health through its involvement with “a lot of projects including Habitat for Humanity, the War on Hunger, which is the same group that’s doing the Sweet Potato Drop, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ breakfast, where [members of SDA] a breakfast twice a year, one for Homecoming in the fall and then one for Super Bulldog Weekend in the spring,” Quintana said
“Additionally, we have several dietetics students doing a lot of volunteer work at Oktibbeha County Hospital with some of the dieticians there. We also go to Mississippi Dietetic Association’s conference every spring, giving us a chance to speak with dieticians throughout the state,” states Quintana.
Membership in SDA is available for freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate students. The organization meets monthly and is led by elected officers.
For information about this event or membership in SDA, contact Stephanie Allen at 809-7833.

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