By: Alyssa Foster
The IU South Bend Honors Program hosted an all-day service project on April 19 that allowed students to help the Food Bank of Northern Indiana prepare for their upcoming Stamp Out Hunger event.
The event took place in the Honors Lounge, where students could stop by at any time to help. Students stapled handouts to bags that will be distributed by the Food Bank to homes in the area. They also helped write positive notes for children with free or reduced lunch plans who receive weekend food bags from the Food Bank’s Backpack Program.
Students were able to choose between helping for service hours or event credit. Because of the amount of help needed for the Stamp Out Hunger event, there was plenty of work for honors students to help with.
“The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is the Food Bank of Northern Indiana’s largest food drive. Our goal this year is to collect 100,000 pounds of food!” Cassidy Martenson, programs and experience coordinator at the Food Bank, said.
This is the 30th year of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. It will take place on May 14 through the generosity of donations and volunteers’ time.
According to Dr. Neovi Karakatsanis, Honors Program coordinator, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana is a longtime partner of the Honors Program.
“Many of our students regularly volunteer there, and some semesters we organize volunteer days at the Food Bank where we go as a group from the Honors Program to help in the food pantry or to pack boxes and bags of food for the Food Bank’s Backpack Program, its senior citizen program, or others,” Dr. Karakatsanis said.
According to Martenson, the Honors students helped with stapling 9,000 handouts to bags that will be distributed to residents next month. A great number of cards, featuring doodles, stickers and inspiring messages, were also created for the Backpack Program.