AURORA, Colo. – Three years ago the South Denver Kiwanis started a program called Kids Against Hunger. It involves buying nonperishable food and raw materials in bulk, such as rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and vitamins, then combining the items into packets of six meals. The bags are boxed and shipped to Haiti and Africa.
In mid-November, nursing students invited health students, faculty and staff from across campus to help Kids Against Hunger package about 20,000 meals.
The CU College of Nursing Student Nurses Association (CUSNA) and Nursing Student Council partnered to bring this outreach effort to campus. “We were looking to bring more of a global focus to some of our student outreach and this was something that not only we could organize on campus but bring here so that people would have a chance to serve right here on campus,” said Sharon Fons, first-year nursing student in the traditional BS program.
The initial goal was to prepare 10,000 meals, Fons said, “but we have gotten such a good response from other groups on campus–we are getting people from everywhere. People want to help. I think that’s the cool part.
“This particular organization (Kids Against Hunger) too, is great. The beauty of it is that for $1.25 you can feed six kids. And their overhead costs are a labor of people that come and volunteer, so it’s very cost effective. It’s being good stewards of the money.”
Fons worked with Nursing Student Council Vice President Michele Beard to provide food for volunteers so students could come during their lunch hour between classes. “We wanted to make it convenient. And, right before Thanksgiving because people want that feel-good feel,” said Fons.
“I think it’s a great thing,” said Lyndsey Kable, first-year nursing student in the accelerated BS program. “It’s in between classes, so it’s just an easy way to help out—especially around the holidays.”
Kids Against Hunger Denver representative Ken Bradley worked with the nursing groups. “We’re excited to be out here. This is the first time we’ve done anything on the Anschutz Medical Campus. It’s all donation. We have all volunteers—no paid staff and we have a 4,000 square-feet warehouse that’s donated to us, so our cost of operation is zero. Everything is donated through volunteers and we raise the money for food by donations and it just passes through to Haiti and Africa.”
“It’s certainly a worthy cause and the College of Nursing made it easy for me to get involved so I thought if I had time I should certainly come by and lend a hand to people doing such great work,” said Matt Hilliard, first-year nursing student in the accelerated BS program.
Emile Cuthbertson, second-year PA student said, “I thought it was a really good opportunity to just kind of give back. I have some free time, so I might as well.”
“I just liked the opportunity to get together with the other professions and other people on campus for a good cause,” added Alexi Kimball, second-year PA student.