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On Sunday, Oct. 7, 267 Southwestern College students, faculty, and staff teamed up to package and deliver 1,000 bags of food for the Homecoming Hunger Project.
The event was hosted by the service learning organizations at Southwestern, which include Leadership, Discipleship, and Green Team. Students from all athletic teams, student life, student government, performing arts, and the service learning teams were in attendance. Once all the food was bagged and boxed, all 267 students carried the food from Stewart Field House down Warren Street to Winfield High School where the food will be stored.
The packaged food will be used as supplement for the “Backpacks for Kids” program at USD 465, which works with the Kansas Food Bank to provide weekend meals for children who have been identified as food insecure. There are currently 88 children in the program and SC’s donation will supply all 88 with food for three months worth of weekends. The bags of food will also include a hand-written letter from a college student as encouragement to the child who will be receiving them.
“It is just a phenomenal project that will support students that are in need of nutritional resources,” says USD 465 Superintendent J.K. Campbell. “It was overwhelming to see the college students marching with the bags and boxes of food. The impact this will have on those students and their ability to do well in school will be good because now they don’t have to worry about food. And I know the SC students will never see the outcome of this event. I am so appreciative that they spent a Sunday afternoon to pack and deliver all of this food.”
Funding for the event was provided by a donation from Steve and Cathy Hamlin and a contribution from each department participating. There was also a total of $4,520 raised for the project. SC staff and faculty provided plastic bags for the event.
“The Southwestern students have proven that they care about the issue of hunger and are willing to act on their convictions. And by contributing funding and support to the event, the institution as a whole is living out its commitment to service,” said Lindsay Wilke, associate director of Leadership Southwestern.
“I know the Kansas Food Bank will be so appreciative because they have been responsible to provide this,” Campbell says. “They are always looking for partners because there is such a huge need here and across the state.”