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Fresh Express – free student market opens on campus thanks to parent and student donors

For students, by students

“Dedicated to nourishing bodies, empowering minds, and creating a community of compassion.”

This is the mission of Fresh Express, a student-led market created to address food insecurity on UGA’s campus by providing produce and non-perishables to students.

The market, located in Joe Frank Harris Dining Commons on East Campus, is open on Thursdays and Fridays. In partnership with UGArden, Fresh Express provides produce to students who may be struggling to afford healthy meals during the semester. After serving students at tabling events during the Spring semester of 2022, the Student Government Association (SGA), with financial support from the 2021 Student Alumni Council Class Gift and Parents Leadership Council, celebrated its grand opening on August 31. Students interested in utilizing Fresh Express are encouraged to visit the Fresh Express website to register for a pick-up time.

Financial support for Fresh Express

Senior Signature

The Class Gift is coordinated by the Student Alumni Council and funded by Senior Signature, an annual giving campaign for UGA seniors to give back to campus by contributing to areas that were significant to their experience at the university. $10 of each contribution goes towards the Class Gift, which benefits one on-campus organization voted upon by Senior Signature donors. UGA student organizations are eligible to apply for the Class Gift each Spring to receive funds for the following academic year.

With the collective support of Senior Signature donors from the Class of 2021, Fresh Express is able to meet student needs across campus — but Senior Signature’s impact does not stop there. The Class of 2022 selected the UGA Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association as the recipient of their Class Gift. During the 2022-2023 academic year, this organization will receive up to $6,000 to support graduate students pursuing careers in speech-language pathology.

Parents Leadership Council

Fresh Express also is supported by funding from the Parents Leadership Council, a group of UGA parents who give back to undergraduate student organizations. After applying for a grant from the PLC, SGA was awarded $12,750 to assist with the establishment and day-to-day operations of Fresh Express and the SGA Professional Clothing Closet. The PLC grants are awarded annually to fund scholarships, support critical undergraduate student needs, and assist registered student organizations with projects and programs that enhance the quality of life for students. Over the past 10 years, the Parents Leadership Council has awarded $4.6 million in grant support to a variety of initiatives across campus–from student life and financial assistance to well-being and service learning. Grant applications for 2023 open in October.

Because of Fresh Express and the generosity of UGA students and parents, students facing food insecurity can focus on learning and getting involved on campus. If you are interested in making a difference through Senior Signature or Parents Leadership Council, visit the pages below to learn more.

 

 

UGA Class of 2021 sets new Senior Signature participation record

The University of Georgia Class of 2021 set a Senior Signature record with 3,009 students making a gift to the university prior to graduation. This is the fifth consecutive year that the graduating class broke the preceding class’s participation record and the highest donor count in the program’s 30-year history.

Students are asked to contribute to UGA through the Senior Signature program during their final year on campus. In appreciation for giving back to the university, students’ names are included on a plaque in Tate Plaza in the heart of campus.

“This record is a true sign of the senior class’s Bulldog tenacity,” said Kevin Nwogu, Student Alumni Council president-elect who also helped lead this year’s campaign. “They managed challenges presented by the pandemic alongside preparing for graduation—and still made room to give back to their soon-to-be alma mater.”

Senior Signature allows students to select any fund on campus to receive a portion of their gift—and students often select a program or department that enhanced their college experience. This year’s minimum donation was $30 in honor of Senior Signature’s 30th anniversary.

This year, the Student Alumni Council, which educates the student body on how philanthropy at UGA improves lives, launched a new component to Senior Signature in which donors to the program vote on a student organization to receive a grant from the Senior Signature endowed fund. The hope is that this new initiative will build a ‘philanthropic cycle’ in which students donate, direct and receive funds—building an understanding of the power of private support at universities like UGA.

Senior Signature was established in 1991. Since then, more than 40,000 students have donated to UGA through the program—their names still visible on the plaques in Tate Plaza.

Learn more about Senior Signature at alumni.uga.edu/seniorsignature.