Food ark club serves community

Want to change the world? Look no further than the Broughton Food Ark, an active club that gives back to the community by fighting hunger.
“It’s by far the most active club in Broughton,” junior Elle Hodges said, “We have constant community service opportunities and really are dedicated to improving our community.”
This unique club began after a student at Enloe started the Enloe Food Ark in the fall of 2014.
In the winter of 2014, senior Mackenzie Dion– then a sophomore– followed suit.
The two clubs began working together and eventually formed the 501(c)3 nonprofit The Food Ark, which now includes seven different chapters.
“In America, food insecurity often goes unseen, and The Food Ark aims to become educated about the causes and effects of food insecurity so we may spread awareness,” senior Mackenzie Dion said.
The Broughton Food Ark club is best known for its extensive gardens growing in the courtyard.
“We grow a lot of greens such as kale, collards, spinach, and lettuce, but we have also grow several other vegetables like carrots and radishes. The food we grow is either used in Broughton’s cooking classes, or it is donated to Inter-Faith Food Shuttle who then distributes them to families who have difficulty affording fresh vegetables,” Dion said.
The Broughton Food Ark has about 50 members. The club meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month in room 3310.
“A typical meeting could involve presentations from members, guest speakers, games, group discussions, and gardening, but we continue to try new things. We also have snacks,” Dion said.
Besides their bi-monthly meetings, members also volunteer in the community at least once a month in places such as food pantries and community gardens.
Not only does this give members a way to give back to Raleigh, it also serves as an opportunity to earn community service hours and show creativity.
“The best experience I’ve had so far was building signs for the garden in the courtyard. They were fun to design,” Hodges said.
The effort of the Broughton Food Ark has been recognized throughout the community,.
Last year, the club won the City of Raleigh Environmental Award for Urban Agriculture and $1,000 to supplement its projects.
Hodges and Dion both encourage students to join the booming club.