Volunteers still needed for Saturday’s SWIPE Out Hunger


Tiger Media Network

This Saturday, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, there will be a community service opportunity on the Fort Hays State University campus.

Civic Learning and Engagement, the Leadership Program, Student Engagement, Forsyth Library, and Global Affairs will all be partnering together to host the SWIPE Out Hunger event at the Forsyth Library on the Main Level and they are still looking for volunteer assistance.

Forsyth Library Engagement Specialist Anna Towns explains this is the return of an event that these organizations have collaborated on in the past, and that they are hopeful it will become an annually held event once again.

“It was hosted annually for many years before 2020, but due to transitions in departments and the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not hosted the event since 2019,” Towns said. “We are hoping to continue this partnership for future events, including the return of SWIPE Out Hunger as an annual event.”

Towns emphasizes their need for volunteer assistance to pull off this substantial event.

“This is a large-scale event that needs around 125 volunteers,” she said. “Partnerships like this mean we can pool resources and experiences to coordinate a successful event that will get nutrient-rich food to those in need.”

Towns said this food-packaging event is put on across the country by Numana, an Iowa-based non-profit.

“They have a coordinator who brings in all the supplies, and they send food where there is a great need – in this case, Tanzania,” Towns said. 

Numana and The Outreach Program (TOP) (which has offices in El Dorado, KS) have partnered since 2022.

“TOP has two Children’s Centers in Tanzania. The food we package will likely go to feed hungry children at those centers, but it may also be used as emergency aid in the USA or elsewhere around the world,” Towns said. 

Towns said food insecurity and malnutrition are not issues that are only faced abroad.

“We are happy to partner with an organization who is tackling these serious problems in a practical way, and we are confident that the meals we package will be beneficial wherever they are sent,” she said. 

Towns said the partner organizations have provided the resources to host this event and that a majority of the funding is coming from Global Affairs and Civic Learning and Engagement. 

“This truly is a collaborative project that brings together entities from across campus and the community to provide this opportunity to package meals for hungry folx the world over,” Towns said. 

Towns invites everyone to check out this event.

“This event is open to the community and is fun for all ages,” she said. “We encourage student organizations, civic groups, religious groups, etc. to get together a team to come and participate.”

More information on how the event will run can be found here:  https://outreachprogram.org/host-an-event/

Here is a complete Schedule of Events for the day:

10:00 am to Noon – Training & Setup (Green Shirt Volunteers)

Noon to 2:00 pm – Pack Meals (All Volunteers)

2:00 to 3:00 pm – Clean Up (Green Shirt Volunteers)

Registration is open to groups of any size as well as individuals.

“We will make sure everyone has a place the day of the event,” Towns said. “The food packaging does require most of the volunteers to be standing for the two-hour period, some will move the heavy boxes of packaged meals, etc. However, there are a few parts of the assembly that could be accomplished while seated (sealing bags and adding labels for example), and we will do our best to accommodate any helpers who register and show up.”

(More information is available on the FAQ page:  https://outreachprogram.org/faqs/ .)

Towns says that they currently have about 85 volunteers registered, and that the Green Shirt team is full, but that they aim to have roughly 125 volunteers. However, the event is still looking for about 40 volunteers to be at the food packaging portion from 12:00 to 2:00 pm to help them reach that goal.

Towns said this is a collaborative effort between these departments, and how great it is to come together for this service project.

“FHSU strives to be a community-engaged university. Projects such as these that bring together not only different campus departments and a variety of student organizations but also community members, is how we achieve this goal,” Towns said. “As Forsyth Library, we are excited to have the space to do this before our renovation begins and we look forward to hosting many events again once our new space is complete.”

Those interested in volunteering for this event can register at the following link https://bit.ly/SWIPEout.