“If you have food, you have a million problems. If you don’t have food, you only have one problem.” – Alpha Gamma Delta Member
This message struck a chord with Alpha Gamma Delta more than a year and a half ago when the Fraternity made the decision to shift its philanthropic focus away from diabetes education and awareness after nearly 40 years. It was the response from members that indicated it was time to shift focus. Through 18,000 members surveyed, 92 percent indicated their communities currently face hunger-related issues, and 54 percent of chapters already participate in hunger-related service opportunities. The message was clear – Alpha Gams Live with Purpose, and that purpose is to fight hunger.
The intent behind the shift to fighting hunger is three-fold:
- Full Plates – Alpha Gamma Delta chapters will work within the communities where they are placed to volunteer at food pantries, soup kitchens and on campuses to provide food directly to those who need it.
- Full Hearts – Inspiring others to get involved and acting as connectors to those organizations in our communities who work to fight hunger each and every day.
- Full Minds – Creating educational and awareness campaigns to call attention to the issue of hunger in our communities.
Coming Full Circle
This initiative brings Alpha Gamma Delta full circle. In 1919, sisters started a camp for undernourished and underprivileged children. For 27 years, it served more than 7,000 children. This was Alpha Gamma Delta’s first philanthropic focus.
The Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation will continue to support the Fraternity’s philanthropic focus as we have for decades. As the Fraternity’s primary philanthropic partner, the Foundation will provide grant support to non-profit organizations who are dedicated to fighting hunger throughout the United States and Canada. The Fraternity has also partnered with Feeding America and Meals On Wheels America, which was brought to the United States by Alpha Gamma Delta sister Margaret Moffat Toy, to engage our members in community service.
Fighting Hunger Starts NOW
We kicked off the fighting hunger initiative during The Leadership Conference (TLC) in Indianapolis, IN July 7-9. This rollout was a huge success due to the collaborative enterprise-wide partnership between the Foundation, Fraternity and the Fraternity Housing Corporation. The Foundation’s commitment of support was woven into the message throughout the weekend through scripting, videos and direct contact with our members, encouraging them to share granting opportunities available with their local partner organizations. The Foundation also provided grants for key leadership and personal development programs throughout the conference. The culmination of the weekend was a service project conducted with Million Meal Movement located in Indianapolis, Indiana. More than 650 Alpha Gams packed 74,000 meals which were sent to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana to feed hungry families in the Hoosier State. This hands-on experience was made possible through the Foundation’s first Fighting Hunger Grant to Million Meal Movement for $20,500.
This experience was well-received and helped members see the connection for how the funds raised for the Foundation impact our communities.
Our Next Steps in the Fight Against Hunger
Between now and December, the Foundation Board of Trustees will work to develop guidelines and criteria for Fighting Hunger Grants. Once criteria is determined, an application will be developed and the Foundation will begin accepting grant requests on December 1. These grants will be awarded in Spring 2018. The Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation is thrilled to continue to partner with the Fraternity to impact and enrich our communities by providing essential support for education, philanthropy and leadership. This partnership includes the creation of a philanthropy toolkit which provides resources for community service and fundraising initiatives. These tools prepare our sisters to take the next step in impacting the world through fighting hunger.