This week, while I was working on decluttering my life by cleaning out my inbox, responding to emails, deleting unnecessary messages that were taking up room in my Outlook, etc., I took a little time out to forward information about a community service project out to some of my peers at the request of a Purdue faculty member.
This particular community service event was the annual College of Agriculture Food Drive. At first, I treated it as a pretty run-of-the-mill request, the type that I deal with nearly everyday in my position with the club I am involved with. However, as I continued to read about it, I became more intrigued and decided to do a little research myself.
The Food Drive functions as a partnership between clubs and organizations within the College of Agriculture here at Purdue, and the local food bank, called Food Finders. To learn more about the organization, I visited their website.
There, I was surprised to learn a few things. First of all, Food Finders has been a part of Tippecanoe County, as well as 15 other surrounding counties in Indiana, since 1981. I also learned that an enormous amount of food annually – 7.5 million pounds, to be exact.
I had never really thought about it before, but in the midst of college students at Purdue living their own lives in the bubble of campus, and people who go to work everyday and are able to provide for their families, there are still others not far from home who are struggling to make ends meet, and cannot always afford their meals.
It made me think of how I am trying new things this semester for my class, and while I have the luxury of purchasing a meal just to try it, there are people not far away who can barely even afford the bare minimum when it comes to food.
There are different ways to define community. For example, sitting around the table to enjoying a meal with friends or family is community. But for those who can’t sit around the table with their loved ones, community is found when those who are realizing the need come together to provide for those who can’t provide for themselves.
My eyes have been opened to the importance of having Food Finders in our community, and I fully intend to participate in tackling the problem of food insecurity in our community by joining in on the College of Agriculture Food Drive this month, and maybe even by going to Food Finders to volunteer.
They can always use more people, and there are so many ways to get involved. I am glad that I chose to dig a little deeper into this cause, and hope that I can convince at least a few people to also volunteer. For more information on the different ways to help out, visit the Food Finders website.