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Kent awarded for community contributions

Rosann Kent Award
Rosann Kent and several Lumpkin County Middle School students recently were recognized for their contributions to the community. Pictured are: back row, from left, Nick Davis, Isaac Rosso, Courtney Voss, Kent, and Noah Rosso. Front row, from left, Lily Phipps and Anna Garcia. Students not shown are Ethan Lawson, Rylee Chaffin and Phillip Chaffin.

Rosann Kent, director of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Appalachian Studies Center and lecturer in the College of Education, has received two awards for contributions to the community in Lumpkin County aimed at combating food insecurity.

Kent's project to collaborate with local 4-H clubs to package meals for Lumpkin Family Connection's "Backpack Buddies" program was awarded Family Connection's Kids First Award and a Friend of 4-H Award for community collaboration.

Backpack Buddies provides meals, snacks and drinks to food insecure children in Lumpkin County every weekend. For the project, Kent worked with groups of Lumpkin County 4-H students at UNG's Vickery House to compile and decorate the food packages. Additionally, participants learned about sustainability and gardening through the center's Hoop House greenhouse and garden.

"I was surprised and excited to win these awards," Kent said. "It's always satisfying to see a community collaboration come full circle. A year ago we dedicated the Hoop House and now we have results. I'm really grateful for Leadership Lumpkin and their support of the Hoop House; they made this possible."

More than $16,000 in donations and materials were raised by Leadership Lumpkin, a volunteer program facilitated through the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, for the Hoop House and related community programs about sustainability, horticulture and food insecurity.

Also awarded for the project were the students who participated.

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