By JESSALYN KIRCHHOFF
Tiger Media Network
To help celebrate its one-year anniversary, Feeding Hays is offering free meals every Thursday at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. Feeding Hays aims to reduce food insecurity for the community of Hays as well as for the students of Fort Hays State University.
In order to tackle this task, Feeding Hays is working hand-in-hand with a LDRS 310 group on campus. LDRS 310: Field Work in Leadership Studies is the last course required for students to receive a Leadership Studies Certificate at FHSU. This course asks students to identify an issue or problem and practice leadership by implementing a community project to combat said issue or problem.
Kyle Nelson, spokesperson for the Leadership 310 Group that is working in support of Feeding Hays, provides specifics for this particular project.
“This is a year-round event. Every Thursday of every week, Feeding Hays offers each person in our community a chance to get a meal, free of charge,” Nelson said. “This organization was founded a little over a year ago now and Feeding Hays has been serving a meal every week since its conception. The reason why this group exists is to reduce food insecurity in our community.”
Nelson goes on to open the door for this event.
“Everyone from the community is welcome to come (grade schoolers, college students, the working class, senior citizens, etc.). The church’s sole intention for this dinner is to give back to the community and to make a difference in Hays food insecurity by providing a free meal to all those who want it every week,” he said.
Nelson reiterates that the meals cost nothing, but St. Michael’s does take donations for those who are able.
“The church does accept freewill donations if individuals would like to help us out, but it’s not expected of them,” Nelson said.
Nelson said because the meals are all free, there is an immense amount of volunteer effort that makes these meals a reality.
“The main people that help with this dinner are the members of the St. Michael’s Episcopal Church,” he said. “Although the church occasionally receives help from local volunteers, it is mainly just my FHSU Fieldwork in Leadership Studies group that assists in the group’s triumphs.”
Nelson explains that his group mates decided to name their team ‘One Less Hungry Hays.’ To make things less complicated and give more context, their group ‘One Less Hungry Hays’ is a subgroup of Feeding Hays.
“We have put a lot of work into this group. We work the spaghetti dinner every week and do other group tasks throughout the week,” he said. “Altogether, I would say as a group, we spend upwards of five to 10 hours a week preparing and carrying out group work activities.”
Nelson and One Less Hungry Hays members would like to give a special thanks to both Randy Gonzalez and Ben Houchen.
“These two individuals are the leaders of Feeding Hays and do a great job at getting work done and promoting positivity and having a good time,” he said. “They have definitely made this experience special for us.”
Nelson wants to make sure that everyone is aware of one thing.
“Everyone is welcome to join us for our weekly dinners and we would greatly appreciate if any other club or organization on campus would like to volunteer with us. Plus, the spaghetti is pretty fire,” he said.
Further questions about the project or about One Less Hungry Hays, can be directed to Kyle Nelson at his email email@example.com or via text or call at his cell phone number (719) 343-3162.
The weekly community meal will take place from 6:30-7 p.m. at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church at 2900 Canal Blvd. in Hays.