More than 80,000 children in Indianapolis suffer from hunger, according to Feeding America. The Honors Student Association tried to reduce that number with its food drive this year.
HSA is a new Registered Student Organization that kicked off its first year by having the food drive. HSA President and junior nursing and psychology major Ashlyn Williams said that some students in HSA really are interested in doing service project, so they decided to do a food drive and partnered with Hunger Inc.
“Hunger Inc. distributes food at no cost to residents of Perry Township and Beech Grove,” according to the organization’s website. “Clients receive enough food to last several days. In 2013, more than 148,000 lbs. of food were given out by the pantry to feed more than 15,100 people.”
HSA Vice President and sophomore biology and psychology major Lauren Bryant said HSA members wanted to donate to a local food bank because they felt it was important to give back to the community around UIndy.
“We wanted to affect the families that we may even possibly see around the UIndy community,” she said, “because while it’s always good to support large food banks … those are large organizations that you can’t as much see the impact where you are. We know that they get a lot of help around these times because they are such popular charities, and we wanted to reach out to something smaller that maybe is kind of looked over when looking at a charity to help.”
Food was collected Nov. 1-16. Williams said HSA planned to do it around Thanksgiving because people often feel more generous, and it is a good time for people to be thankful for what they have and give back to those who are less fortunate.
“We kind of take for granted that we always have food around campus,” Williams said. “There’s something always open or some place—like you can stop by the Grab and Go on your way to class. Not everyone has that luxury, especially not every child has that ability to come home to food in their cabinets or food in their fridge. And so by donating, you’re helping somebody have that capability.”
Bryant said HSA would love to continue the event, and Williams said HSA will probably do another food drive later this spring or next fall.
“I think it would be great for Honors to start a tradition and have it eventually become a campus-wide event that the Honors just kind of helps to spearhead and organize,” Bryant said. “We’d love to get more groups, more organizations. If we could get the entire campus to do it, it would be fantastic. There’s no reason we’d not want something like this to grow. It would be really wonderful to see the whole campus come together for a singular charity event, whether it be this one, which would be nice to continue as it affects our community, or to pick a charity as a school and do something like this.”
Altogether one full box of nonperishable food was collected and donated to Hunger Inc. Williams thought for their first big event, it went well. She said she would like to see more food donated in the future and felt that the event was a learning experience they could use to grow as an organization.
Even though they would have liked to collect more, Bryant still felt that the fact that people were giving back was good and that more students should take the opportunity.
“Honestly, people should give back because they can. There isn’t any other way that you can say it. If you’re fortunate enough to have more than you need, there’s no reason, especially in the season of giving, to try and hoard it. You might as well help out someone else because, you know, it’s going to make such a big impact,” she said. “When you have more than you need, having even more doesn’t do anything for you. But when you have less than you need, then every little bit is a huge blessing and a huge revelation. And to be able to make that kind of difference in someone’s life, especially going into the holiday season, it’s always so meaningful [for] the giver and the givee.”