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Flex Out Hunger raises funds for local emergency assistance April 24 to 27

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 16, 2012 – Each spring, the Virginia Tech chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and Dining Services give students the opportunity to donate some or all of the remaining balance on their dining plans to the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program through the Flex Out Hunger program.

This year, students will have the chance to donate from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning Tuesday, April 24, and running through Friday, April 27, at tables located outside Squires Student Center, West End Market in Cochrane Hall, Deet’s Place and DXpress in Dietrick Dining Center, and Owens Food Court and Hokie Grill & Co. in Owens Dining Center.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon philanthropy chairs Jonathon Biery of Pittsburgh, Pa., a junior majoring in finance in the Pamplin College of Business, and Mac Buescher of Arlington, Va., a junior double majoring in economics in the College of Science and finance in the Pamplin College of Business, said the program brings in an average of approximately $15,000 each year.

“Our donation is the biggest donation that they (Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program) get,” said Biery. “They get smaller donations, but this is the largest and it keeps them afloat throughout most of the year.”

“One of the great things about our philanthropy is that all the money raised goes to the surrounding area. We try to give back to the community that allows us to be here,” Buescher added. “It really takes minimal effort on everyone’s part, and it gives students a better feeling knowing that they helped somebody.”

Students who are interested in donating should approach any of the tables outside the dining halls, where Sigma Alpha Epsilon members will assist them in filling out a form indicating how much they want to give. There is no limit on how much or how little a student can donate from their remaining dining plan balance.

“It can be as much as they’re willing to give, or as much as they have,” Biery said. “If someone wants to give us $3, we’ll take it.”

Flex Out Hunger at Virginia Tech began in the fall of 2000 as a partnership between Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Dining Services, a department within the Division of Student Affairs. Modeled after a successful program at Washington University, the goal of Flex Out Hunger is to provide an easy way for Virginia Tech students to donate money to the local community.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is a member of Virginia Tech’s Interfraternity Council, which governs the university’s traditional-majority fraternities. The Interfraternity Council, along with the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Multicultural Greek Council, and the Panhellenic Council, is advised by the office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, also a department within the Division of Student Affairs.

The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.

Written by Jennifer Gibson.