Washburn University students will kick off national Hunger and
Homelessness Awareness Week on Monday, Nov. 17 by opening an on-campus
food pantry. A ribbon cutting event will begin at 11 a.m. in the lobby
of the Henderson Learning Resources Center, followed by tours of the
The pantry, known as The Exchange, is the first new piece of a
student-driven hunger-alleviation and nutrition education initiative
known as Bods Feeding Bods. Kelsey Rose, a senior psychology major from
Wichita, conceived of the food pantry last year and the effort has grown
into the overall initiative.
The idea for The Exchange grew out of a discussion Rose had with friends
about the difference $100 could make.
“The idea for food pantry for college students was generated and it just
made sense to me, particularly because I had witnessed my classmates
struggle for food,” she said. “As I learned about poverty through the
AmeriCorps Bonner program, I became motivated to make this idea a
Rose found a faculty mentor and began working on the project. She
surveyed Washburn students during fall semester 2013 and found 45
percent of respondents said they cut the portion of meals or skipped a
meal because there wasn't enough money for food. Among respondents, 16
percent said that occurred every month.
The survey indicated 20 percent of respondents had high food security.
The other 80 percent had either marginal (21 percent), low (22.1
percent) or very low (36.8 percent) food security. The USDA defines food
security as "access by all people at all times to enough food for an
active, healthy life."
"My first reaction was shock,” Rose said, recalling her analysis of the
survey data. “I knew some people were struggling, but not at the
magnitude that we found. I knew at that point I had to make sure the
food pantry was established here at Washburn!”
Rose gathered other students, many from Washburn’s Christian Challenge,
as well as faculty and staff support. In August, a core team of those
individuals launched Bods Feeding Bods. This week, they’re finalizing
the space for The Exchange and conducting volunteer training.
With the opening of The Exchange, Washburn joins a number of
universities in Kansas and more than 50 institutions across the country
with on-campus food banks. The Exchange will operate two days each week,
staffed by volunteers from the campus community. Those wishing to
receive food will be able to do so twice each month, as long as they
have an active Washburn ID card. Food distribution will be based on
Washburn's recently concluded "Can Emporia" food drive provided cans to
support The Exchange. Collection will continue throughout the year, with
the campus community encouraged to give when they can and visit The
Exchange when they need.
Support for The Exchange and the overall Bods Feeding Bods initiative
has come from university administrators, the Department of Psychology,
Christian Challenge, New Hope food pantry and others.
Washburn's Oxfam America Club, which focuses on awareness of and action
to alleviate world hunger, has partnered to become an initiative of Bods
Feeding Bods. Plans are in the early stages to add other projects
focused on nutrition education and meal preparation and distribution.
Oxfam America Club also will host special events in recognition of
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. The complete schedule
is as follows:
Monday, Nov. 17
11 a.m. -- Henderson Learning Resources Center lobby -- The Exchange
opens with remarks from Washburn President Jerry Farley and founder
Kelsey Rose and a ribbon cutting.
6 p.m. -- Petro Allied Health Center, Room 220 -- Panel discussion,
"Hungry for an Education," featuring guests from Washburn, University of
Kansas and Harvesters.
Tuesday, Nov. 18
6 p.m. -- Henderson 100 -- Screening of "Cesar Chavez," presented by
Oxfam America Club, HALO and the Multicultural Affairs Office. Followed
by a discussion.
Thursday, Nov. 20
6 p.m. -- Memorial Union, Washburn Room -- Oxfam Hunger Banquet, a meal
that will open your mind to the reality of what most people worldwide
actually eat, featuring hunger education both globally and locally.
No admission is charged to any of these events, but donations of
nonperishable food or monetary support for Bods Feeding Bods initiatives
is greatly appreciated.
Learn more about Bods Feeding Bods:
The Exchange operating hours:
Mondays 3-6 p.m. & Thursdays 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
On-campus resource hotline: 785.670.2580