By Rebekah Saylors
BOONE – Business students at Appalachian State University collected 58 pounds of food and processed more than 10,000 pounds of donations in June for A Simple Gesture, a charitable arm of Boone’s Hunger and Health Coalition.
Several of the participants, including Michelle Jeanniton-Garrett, from Indian Trail, are members of the Enactus program at Appalachian under the Walker College of Business’s Association of Student Entrepreneurs.
“About six families of four could eat for one week with the 42 fully stocked bags we gathered,” Jeanniton-Garrett said.
Jeanniton-Garrett is not only a Master of Business Administration candidate, but she has also been volunteering with the Hunger and Health Coalition since fall 2018. Enactus members partnered with the coalition as part of their focus on food insecurity in the community.
“Enactus Appalachian looks to inspire students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action,” said Enactus president and MBA candidate Jackie Parrish, of Hickory. “At the moment, Enactus is focused on food insecurity in the High Country.
“While our organization continues to brainstorm entrepreneurial concepts to alleviate this issue, Michelle and I thought that there was no better partnership to make than with the Hunger and Health Coalition. This is how the Peacock Hall Simple Gesture collection was born.”
With the reduced number of students on campus during the summer, Enactus turned to the MBA class to ask for assistance in continuing its efforts. This also allowed for a service opportunity in fulfilling the social responsibility component of the course.
“Social responsibility is one of our core goals in the Walker College of Business MBA program,” said Ken White, professional development coordinator and instructor of the Executive Skills class. “The efforts of these students exemplify what we hope to inculcate in our graduates. I am very proud of the effort and those that will benefit from this activity.”
MBA candidate Eden Spencer, of Cary, said bringing sustainable ideas into the workplace can have lasting impacts on the environment around us and encourage the next generation of leaders to keep the sustainable initiatives going.
“I honestly just enjoy giving back to any community I live in,” Jeanniton-Garrett said. “Volunteering is a rewarding feeling, especially when you know that it has a positive impact on the community. I also utilize their services and am so grateful for the resources it provides!”