VOLUNTEER PROFILE: ANN DAMIANO IS INVOLVED IN #PASSMYPLATE
Imagine trying to eat every day with a budget of $1.90.
Believe it or not, the poverty level worldwide is living on $1.90 everyday – and that is not just for food. Medicine, housing, clothing, transportation, schooling, and other everyday costs are included in what $1.90 must cover for a family living in poverty.
The American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) is a non-profit global organization that brings this experience to individuals in order to raise awareness and funds for children who have been infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS.
The Pass My Plate event challenges participants to eat every day on the budget of $1.90 for one week. At the end of the week, participants are asked to calculate the amount of money he or she would normally have spent on food and donate that amount to AFCA.
The Pass My Plate event is open to anyone and occurs in September. The week in September is chosen by the participant.
AFCA headquarters is located in Harrisburg, PA and is always looking for volunteers. For this reason, members of the Lebanon Valley College community have been getting involved. One fairly new AFCA volunteer is Ann Damiano, Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at LVC.
“To me, what really is attractive about AFCA is that they work towards sustainability,” Damiano said. “Because in reality, we are a global society.”
Although a fairly new member to AFCA, Damiano is on the Pass My Plate committee and is helping coordinate ways for LVC students to become involved.
“Right now, I am currently designing different shopping lists for the Pass My Plate event,” Damiano said. “Anyone can eat Ramen noodles every day, but our hope is to design a healthy meal for the event under $2.”
The Pass My Plate event already has several corporate sponsors. One corporate sponsor of the Pass My Plate event is Metz Culinary Management, which is responsible for making the daily meals on LVC’s campus in the Mund Dining Hall.
Metz, in coordination with AFCA, is currently planning an event for LVC students that will bring this experience to campus. Students would eat a meal for $1.90 and Metz would donate $8 to AFCA for every participant. Although a work in progress, students who write a reflection on their participation in the Pass My Plate event will be put into a drawing for an opportunity to do a service trip in Africa for two weeks.
AFCA’s goal for the Pass My Plate event is to raise $35,000 to provide 360 children affected by HIV and AIDS.
“Anyone can write a check,” Damiano said. “Our hope is that people will learn the difficulties of living when you are limited in what you have and what you can afford.”
More information about the Pass My Plate event and AFCA can be found at passmyplate.com