The brothers of the Virginia Tech chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity raised $14,879 for the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program through the annual Flex Out Hunger program, an increase of 48 percent from last year.
Each year since 2001, the fraternity has organized Flex Out Hunger in the campus dining centers. Many students have a balance remaining on their dining plans at the end of the spring semester, and the Flex Out Hunger program gives them the opportunity to donate that money to help others in the community.
“All the brothers of SAE worked very hard this year,” said Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s philanthropy chair Charles Davee of Nashville, Tenn., a junior finance major in the Pamplin College of Business. “Each brother volunteered three hours of his time, so SAE put in over 300 hours of effort into this philanthropy. Everyone is very pleased with how it went, and we hope to increase our total next year.”
Tables were set up on the university’s campus at Dietrick Plaza, Owens Food Court, Hokie Grill & Co., Squires Food Court, and West End Market for students to donate their leftover Flex Dollars. The money collected was donated to the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program in nearby Christiansburg to help buy food, diapers, and baby formula for New River Valley families in need.
“We also get donations from churches and food drives, but Flex Out Hunger is what helps us keep the food pantry stocked for most of the year,” said Debbie Linkous of Christiansburg, Va., administrative assistant for the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program.
Flex Out Hunger at Virginia Tech began in the fall of 2000 as a partnership between Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Dining Services. Modeled after a program at Washington University, Flex Out Hunger seeks to provide an easy way for Virginia Tech students to donate money to the local community.
Virginia Tech’s dining plans are based on a declining balance system of Flex Dollars, which provide dining plan holder discounts on all food purchased in campus dining centers. Students who do not use all of the money in their dining plan accounts have the option to donate any leftover money through the Flex Out Hunger program. Since its implementation in 2001, Flex Out Hunger has raised more than $125,000 for the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program.
Fraternity and Sorority Life, which advises the Greek governance councils at Virginia Tech, and Dining Services are both departments within the Division of Student Affairs.