The Residence Hall Association (RHA), in conjunction with Volunteer Emory, hosted its annual sandwich drive — one of the University’s largest volunteer events — last week. Students produced nearly 10,000 sandwiches for various need-based organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Atlanta Union Mission.
The event, which took place from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day last week in the Dobbs University Center (DUC), is a “longstanding tradition” of RHA, College sophomore and RHA Volunteer Chair Kadean Maddix explained.
According to the RHA website, RHA aligned with the Atlanta Food Bank in spring 2002 to produce thousands of sandwiches for those in need.
“Any little help that students provide us with goes a long way,” Maddix said. “One sandwich feeds one person, but that one person may not have [otherwise] had food for that night or that day.”
Members from a range of student organizations including RHA, Volunteer Emory and service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega participated in the event, RHA President and Goizueta Business School junior Jonathan Yenni said.
Maddix said that while the sandwich drive resulted in slightly fewer sandwiches than it has in the past, the number of sandwiches produced each year depends on how many sandwiches each local organization requests.
RHA made these sandwiches without any waste, Maddix noted. This differed from past years when leftover sandwiches had to be thrown away.
The event benefits not only the local community, but also University students, Yenni said.
He explained that the sandwich drive is one of the few opportunities for everybody at Emory to come together to participate in a service-based event.
“It’s a campus-wide, teamwork-oriented event, and it’s one of the few times Emory has that,” Yenni said.
For the first time since the event’s establishment, RHA used wheat bread in its sandwiches to make the sandwiches more healthy, Maddix said, adding that volunteers incorporated cheese and meats such as ham and turkey into each one.
He added that while wheat bread was more expensive than other bread, RHA “wanted to make sure we could do the best we could for the homeless.”
Maddix said he feels the event was more successful than he expected it would be.
“Last year I just helped out, but actually coordinating the event and seeing it pan out — I couldn’t have asked for a better result,” he said. “I want to thank everyone who helped out. Everyone who came out to help or support this cause did an outstanding job.”
Maddix also cited Sodexo for their role in helping RHA order the supplies needed for the event. The event will continue in the future because “of the good it brings to the community,” he said.
— Contact Jordan Friedman.