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USM student donates ‘Spread The Joy Sweepstakes’ winnings to campus food pantry

When USM student Dami Caldwell learned she would be given $500 to donate to a local effort that helps overcome food insecurity, her mind was made up in an instant.

“As soon as I knew it was an option, there was no hesitation about choosing the USM Campus Food Pantry to help those in need,” she said.

USM student Dami Caldwell

USM first-year criminology major Dami Caldwell of Suffolk, Va., put her values into action by designating the $500 contribution from Sodexo to the University's Campus Food Pantry. (Submitted photo.)

Caldwell is one of 30 college students nationwide randomly selected to receive $500 from USM’s dining services provider Sodexo as part of its “Spread The Joy Sweepstakes.” Featured at more than 600 Sodexo-managed colleges and universities across the country, the program offers students the opportunity to contribute $500 in their name to a campus food pantry or a local hunger-related charity. Winners also receive a $100 VISA gift card to spend any way they choose.

“Dami’s choice of the USM Campus Food Pantry will make a huge difference for people who are facing food insecurity this holiday season. It’s wonderful to see her put her values into action this way,” said Rodney Mondor, USM’s Dean of Students. “The $500 Sodexo provided through ‘Spread the Joy Sweepstakes’ will help purchase a great deal of food that I know will be greatly appreciated. Thanks to both Dami and Sodexo for this windfall of help.”

Caldwell, a first-year criminology major from Suffolk, Va., is a member of USM’s Gorham Campus Activities Board, a student organization that develops and implements campus-based social programming, including concerts, guest speakers, and stand-up comedians. After graduating from USM, she intends to put her criminology degree to work as a counselor for young people navigating the juvenile justice system or as a re-entry case manager.

“What I know for sure is that I want to work with at-risk youth to lead them to a better path,” she said.