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PTK Collecting Canned Goods & Books for 'Project Graduation'

April 17, 2006

ACCC's Alpha Delta Mu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa will be accepting/collecting non-perishable food items and books, May 8-24, to give to local food banks, hospitals, libraries, etc.

The program, titled Project Graduation: Feed a Body, Feed a Mind, is an effort by the International Honor Society which is committed to changing lives and changing communities. The civic engagement program encourages community college students to donate canned goods and books to local relief agencies and literacy organizations. Graduates and their families are encouraged to bring their donations to the college.

Project Graduation events are scheduled to take place at all three ACCC campuses (Mays Landing, Cape May, and Atlantic City) from May 8-24. Participants are encouraged to bring canned goods, or any non-perishable food items, and/or books for donation. For more information, or to donate goods prior to the event, contact Jill Mastrogiacomo at jillybean8D@yahoo.com or Marcia Kleinz at mkleinz@atlantic.edu.

The program focuses on the battle against the social issues of hunger and low literacy rates. In an effort to impact communities internationally, Phi Theta Kappa chapters in over 500 community colleges in the United States, Canada, Germany, Saipan, and Guam committed to changing lives and communities last year through Project Graduation. Since the launch of Project Graduation in 2002, more than 220,000 food items and 190,000 books have been collected and given to worthy organizations.

Recent statistics indicate that approximately 9.6 million United States residents go to bed hungry each night. An additional 36.6 million Americans are food insecure, meaning they do not have adequate supplies of food to lead a healthy lifestyle and are at risk of going hungry. Because of the increased number of hungry citizens, food pantries and shelters nationwide have reported shortages in their supplies of food.

In a recent report, 26.6% of community agencies cited shortages of cereal, rice, and pasta products. Almost 20% said they would need more canned goods in order to support the people depending on them for food.

The fight against hunger is only half of the battle. A recent United States Department of Education study found that 43% of adults at the lowest level of reading proficiency live in poverty. Over 61% of impoverished children have no books to read, and many rural communities either have no library, or the local library is inadequate to meet the needs of the children. Project Graduation is Phi Theta Kappa's commitment to battle these social dilemmas.

Phi Theta Kappa, founded in 1918, serves 1,200 two-year colleges around the world. The Society’s operations are global in scope with chapters located in all 50 United States, U.S. Territories, Canada, and Germany. Nearly 1.5 million students have accepted membership in Phi Theta Kappa since its founding, with almost 100,000 new members inducted each year.

For more information, visit http://www.projectgraduation.org.