Carlos Pernia, Director of Food and Beverage for The George and Cavalry Court hotels, said the idea for the Feed Maroon program sparked out of a simple conversation between himself, Brian Hall, founder of the nonprofit Friday Harbour, and Austin Fanning, founder of Dorm Dish. Hall initially had the idea to feed 10 Texas A&M students for 10 days who had lost their jobs because of the coronavirus, which soon escalated into the Feed Maroon program.
“The need to help these students was identified, and in a short three days we all worked together to start feeding the students and raising funds,” said Pernia.
A GoFundMe was organized by Dorm Dish to help generate funds to provide these meals. Within a matter of days, the money began flowing in.
“We’ve had donations of all amounts, some enough to feed one student for a day, and others in upwards of thousands of dollars,” said Fanning.
Fanning said the idea behind this is similar to “sponsoring an Aggie,” and has hopes that it will continue long after the pandemic ends. The program currently sits just $1,300 away from its goal of being able to feed all 30 students on their list for the rest of the semester.
“Community is one of the most important aspects that Texas A&M has cultivated,” said Pernia. “The giving spirit of current and former Aggies is what has allowed this program to succeed, and by us being able to extend a hand to these students cements that spirit of community. We know that as Aggies, we can make a difference to the current students, and they in part will rise up to meet the needs of future classes when they are able to.”
Through the Feed Maroon program, Fanning has not only been able to help feed students in need, but has also been able to share the program’s prosperity with the community and the two hotels.
“To know that you are helping put food on the table for a student in need until they can get back to work or go back home to their families is such a great feeling,” Fanning said. “This entire program is a joint community effort. Once this is all over, we hope to have people come back and stay at The George and Cavalry Court as a ‘thank you’ for their help during all of this.”
Monetary donations will be accepted via GoFundMe through April 28. If you’re an Aggie student in need of a meal, email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply to be put on the list.