The College of Business and Leadership donated more than 4,000 pounds of food in conjunction with their Thought for Food program.
The program spans from instructor of Marketing and Management Anthony Gabel’s experience at his Alma Mater, Notre Dame, where law students were allowed immunity from answering a question if they donated a can of food.
Gabel brought the same idea to Fort Hays State University, where several instructors have implemented the program in their classrooms.
This was the campus’s fifth year donating food, which is sent to the Hays Area Community Assistance Center and the St. Joseph’s food pantry, with all the food collected in just three short days.
The office of the Provost, Student Affairs and the Leadership Studies Department also contributed to the food drive as well as other departments on campus.
The collection process was different than the ways of Notre Dame law School, Gabel said.
For his class, Gabel offers extra credit for students who create multiple-choice questions along with donating two cans of food.
Other instructors allow students to bring in current events and revised homework along with non-perishables to donate to the cause.
“The ultimate goal is to bring those students into a situation where they recognize that they have a connection to the community, and this is one way to address it,” Gabel said.
“A lot of the times I was helping with the cub scouts a number of years ago. One of our service projects was to help put food boxes together, and one of the interesting things that happened was we saw boxes of cake mix. You’re usually thinking about the staples, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meats and such,” Gabel said. “We were told by the person in charge that those come in handy, that they have at least one client come in that is stunned to see cake mix in their box because they had a child’s birthday that week.”
Gabel said telling those sorts of stories to his classes really touches home and opens students’ eyes to the fact that not only are adults struggling to get food, but the children in their families are as well.
“Surprisingly, it’s not that many faculty members that participate in number, but when you multiply how many students each of those faculty members touch and bring into the process, it’s amazing what one project like this can do,” Gabel said. “I’ve been pretty humbled by seeing how much we can actually accomplish.”