STORY AND VIDEO BY CORIE LYNN
On September 15, Family Day brought in parents, siblings, and loved ones to Fort Hays State to spend time with their students at the university. This day included on-campus activities during the day and a home football game in the evening.
Among these activities was the Swipe Out Hunger food packing event at Forsyth Library. Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, students, staff, and family pulled on their gloves and hairnets to package food to be sent around the world. The meals, consisting of simple ingredients such as rice and beans, will be sent to those in need, including individuals in Haiti and El Salvador.
This year, Swipe Out Hunger was co-hosted by Humana and the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.
“This is Humana’s seventh year packing with Fort Hays,” said Jessica Washee, the Humana member who ran the event on Saturday.
While the organization facilitates meal packaging at Fort Hays, they also host food packaging events around the community.
“These meals are actually going to go to our partner, which is Convoy of Hope,” said Washee, “Convoy of Hope will come directly to our warehouse, pick these meals up, and take them to El Salvador. […] They personally hand-deliver these to kids in orphanages and different women’s programs.”
Though Humana and its workers have many years of experience with food packaging, this year was the first time the women of Alpha Gamma Delta co-hosted Swipe Out Hunger.
“Internationals changed our philanthropic focus from diabetes education and awareness to fighting hunger,” said Lucy Partlow-Loyall, president of AGD.
Because of this, the sorority has taken on new service activities, like Swipe Out Hunger, that pertain to their current philanthropic focus.
Despite this being the AGD’s first year co-hosting the event, the members were up to the task. Each one of them wore a bright green event leader shirt, and were seen busily moving boxes of meals, keeping packaging stations stocked with supplies, and cheering on volunteers.
“A few years back, I helped out with Convoy of Hope,” said AGD member, Taylor Galbraith, “I got to work there with my dad and we just handed out food. It’s really awesome to see yourself making a difference.”
One of the volunteers, making a difference as Galbraith described, was the Fort Hays university president, Dr. Tisa Mason, who was inaugurated the previous day.
“[Service],” said Dr. Mason, “is really important and it’s how we make an impact on our world and our communities.” She included service in the inauguration activities for this reason.
To everyone in attendance, from Dr. Mason to the women of Alpha Gamma Delta to each student wanting to lend a hand, service was the goal. As they worked together to make a difference in the lives of others, they grew closer to the community around them through serving others.
Next year, FHSU can expect Swipe Out Hunger to continue to impact the lives of people around the world and the volunteers who seek to change others’ lives for the better.