2 Valencia Hotel Group properties help feed local students

Students participating in the Feed Maroon program can pick up meals from Cavalry Court's onsite restaurant from Monday to Friday. Photo credit: Cavalry Court

Two Valencia Hotel Group properties in College Station, Texas, have partnered with Dorm Dish to help feed Texas A&M University students in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carlos Pernia, director of food and beverage for The George and Cavalry Court hotels, said the idea for the Feed Maroon program came from a 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 who had lost their jobs because of COVID-19, an idea which soon escalated into the Feed Maroon program.

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Dorm Dish organized a GoFundMe to help generate funds to provide these meals and within a matter of days, money began coming 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,” Fanning said in a statement.

Fanning said the idea behind this is similar to “sponsoring an Aggie,” and has hopes 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.

“Right now, we have 30 students receiving meals each day, with another 60 on our waitlist,” Fanning said. “We want to be able to feed every student who is struggling financially, which is where all of these donations come into play.”

Through the partnership, Dorm Dish agreed to provide microwavable dinners to the students, with Valencia Group’s catering service providing lunch. Meals are picked up at Cavalry Court’s onsite restaurant, The Canteen, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Monetary donations will be accepted via GoFundMe through April 28.