Our USM Hunger Awareness Team (HAT) attended the 5th Annual Kansas Hunger Dialogues at Newman University in Wichita. These is an opportunity for all the universities and colleges in the state to come together and share ideas about fighting hunger on their campuses. Shala Steffes, Jenny Herbig, and Maggie Stewart presented about the HAT activities that have occurred on the USM Campus since the fall of 2013. Some of those activities include: International Food Packaging events, a Hunger Awareness Banquet, and a Hunger Awareness Week to name of a few. The one activity that peaked other universities’ interests was a week of weighing food waste in our cafeteria. Several schools mentioned they would be initiating this when they returned to campus. The day ended with a local food packaging event that helped stock Wichita food pantries’ shelves. The following are two students’ reflections:
I had a wonderful experience at the Kansas Hunger Dialogue. I got to attend this special presentation with an amazing group of people who share the same passion of trying to help solve the major hunger problem that faces our world today. The presentation I enjoyed the most was the one about on campus food pantries by Washburn University, Fort Hayes, and University of Kansas. Each presenter gave great ideas with starting tips, placement, and sustainability from their personal experiences. I hope that maybe one day, Saint Mary’s can also have a food pantry of its own. Although I was unable to watch St. Mary’s group present, I know they did a great job telling the audience all the events our small but mighty group put together. The experience of the Kansas Hunger Dialogue was very valuable with all the information we received while we were there.
I had the pleasure of attending the 2015 Kansas Hunger Dialogue yesterday. The experience was one of kind, and definitely unforgettable. Not only was I exposed to brilliant concepts and suggestions that will help improve life here at The University of Saint Mary, but I got to meet like minded people who strive to make different communities and turn the world into a better place. Most importantly, I was given the opportunity to strengthen the bonds with several of the people here on campus that I am blessed enough to call friends. The 2015 KHD had a refreshing mix of activities — random dancing, interesting information, stimulating conversations, friendly people, good food, and even a food packaging event similar to our Feed the Need event first semester. I highly recommend that people take advantage of the opportunity to attend the next Kansas Hunger Dialogue; every second is worth it!