INDIANAPOLIS –Ivy Tech Community College students from all across the state recently came together to learn more about how hunger affects residents of Indiana during the first college-wide alternative summer break program.
Students worked at various agencies and organizations in Indianapolis, Kokomo, and Bloomington. In Indianapolis, students worked at Gleaners Food Bank, a large distribution warehouse. In just one day, the group processed 26,000 pounds of food, pulling expired food can-by-can and sorting it into categories.
In Kokomo, students worked with Kokomo Rescue Mission, sorting food for the shelter’s kitchen. They also planted tomatoes and peppers, as well as mulched the garden at the Ivy Tech campus in Kokomo. All of the produce that was planted will be donated to Kokomo agencies in the future.
In Bloomington, students worked with Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, a fresh food pantry. They also assisted Area 10 Agency on Aging, which focuses on distributing food to the homebound and elderly. Students were challenged to cook on a budget of $2.50 a meal. The students were able to apply their experiences to their fields of study, which include human services, paralegal studies, business, nursing, and liberal arts.
“This experience gave students the opportunity to not just learn about those in Indiana that experience food insecurity, but also how agencies address the issue,” said Chelsea Rood-Emmick, Executive Director of Civic Engagement and organizer of the program. “Students worked with everyone from large distribution agencies to small private regional agencies. The issue is so complex it takes a variety of approaches, and this experience allows the student to see the whole picture.”
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.