Queen’s University Class of 2020 gives $14,000 to Food Banks Canada

February 3rd 2021-Despite facing their own year of challenges, the Queen’s University Class of 2020 will be starting their first days as alumni giving back to others — voting to give more than $14,000 dollars to Food Banks Canada.

The donation in the name of the Class of 2020 is part of a new initiative that will mark the university’s 180th year while simultaneously challenging alumni to change something for good in their own communities — wherever in the world they may be.

Called #180For180, Queen’s is asking new graduates — and anyone who would like to join them — to turn something 180 degrees for good by volunteering for 180 minutes.

More than 7,000 Class-of-2020 graduates were recently sent a package that included a custom notebook and a letter encouraging them to make a difference in their communities. A portion of the price of each book was set aside for a donation. Based on votes by the graduates, Food Banks Canada — an organization that helps people living with food insecurity and supports a network of more than 600 food banks and more than 3,000 agencies across the country — was selected by the Class of 2020 from a list of charities shortlisted by the Queen’s University Alumni Association. The charity will receive $14,510.

“We are very proud of this generous gift to Food Banks Canada by the Class of 2020" says Karen Bertrand, Vice Principal (Advancement) at Queen's University. "They have taken the challenges of the last year and turned them into something positive for so many people. It’s that spirit of giving that we try to foster throughout the Queen’s community, and that is so strong among our alumni.”

"This pandemic has placed immense pressures on food banks," say Chris Hatch, Chief Executive Officer of Food Banks of Canada. People are facing hardships due to COVID-19 throughout the entire country. I’d like to thank the Queen’s University Class of 2020 for this donation, which will help food banks in Canadian communities at this critical time.” 

The announcement of the charity selected touches off the next part of the initiative, with the #180For180 challenge asking grads to keep on giving in ways that are meaningful to them – joining the board of an organization that is changing lives, sharing their skills with someone in the community who needs a helping hand, or volunteering for a cause they care about.

Class-of-2020 grads are encouraged to use their custom notebooks to document how they spent 180 minutes turning something 180 degrees — and then share their stories by posting to social media with the hashtag #180For180, or emailing [email protected] to let Queen’s know how they are helping. Learn more about #180For180 here.