I am one of the blessed people who has not experience hunger. I never knew it was so close by. I did not know it was that real. I do now. Over the course of the semester, our class has been studying issues of food and hunger.
Hunger in colleges.
Throughout the semester, we read, wrote, and talked about hunger among college students and the ways to fix this issue. In March 2017, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab published a study that includes more than 33,000 students at 70 community colleges in 24 states. Two out of three students are food insecure. In addition, about half of community college students were housing insecure, and 13 to 14 percent were homeless. Click here for more information.
Our class project.
We volunteered a service day at the Food Bank of the Rockies. What caught my eye when we arrived is how well organized the food bank was. I was surprised to see fresh vegetables and a variety of proteins which clients can get free of charge. So even people who are in need can get nutritional food.
What is Food Bank of Rockies?
Food Bank of Rockies is a non-profit organization that offers programs to distribute food and essentials to hungry people in Colorado and Wyoming. “Fighting hunger. Feeding hope” is its slogan. Food Bank of Rockies has three locations in Denver.
You can become part of its work in three ways.
- You can donate food. About 60 percent of the food it distributes comes from generous donations from retailers, wholesalers, and the food industry.
- You can donate money. You might not think a small gift does much good, but for just a dollar, you can provide four meals to someone who may not be able to eat without your help.
- You can sponsor a drive. Consider a virtual food drive. Create a competition for your class or for your team or group and see who can raise the most. Click here to sign up.
We all probably heard it in some shape or form: “Do good and good will come back to you.” According to Mirele Mann’s article, “7 Scientific Facts About the Benefit of Doing Good,” there are many benefits to doing good. We found a few, in particular, to be true on our day at the food bank. Mann says, “Doing good will motivate you to do good again.” As we were on our way back to campus, many of us shared thoughts of going there again. Doing good benefits you in so many ways, and we are definitely a proof of that.
Helping our campus.
In addition to finding personal benefits, we also found one as a student community. We had a group of five classes, two sociology classes with Kristina Kahl, two English classes with Kelli Cole, and one English class with April Lewandowski. As a result of the time we spent there, we were able to get 2,800 pounds of food donations from Food Bank of Rockies to the Westminster Campus food pantry, which is located inside Student Life. Students are welcome to visit and use The Pantry free of charge. The amount of food we earned spending time at the food bank is enough food to stock The Pantry eight times. So our little part of doing good comes back as a big benefit for our student community.
During our day at Food Bank of the Rockies, students in four of the classes packed 700 food boxes for seniors and kid’s backpacks. Our class was sent to another location. We helped to stock food on pallets for The Emergency Food Assistance Program.
Three classes will sponsor a Hunger Banquet on Wednesday, April 26, in the Rocky Mountain room (C-0770) on the Westminster Campus. The Hunger Banquet will raise awareness about hunger on college campuses. April Lewandowski’s and Kelli Cole’s classes will present Part I from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., focusing on issues of hunger and college students. Kristina Kahl’s class will present Part II from 1 to 2 p.m., showcasing issues surrounding food waste and food recovery. Admission is free. Seating can be limited, with priority going to FRCC students.