Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 10, 2016

One ‘can’ make a difference

Iowa Wesleyan students ready to make a difference in community
Nov 16, 2016

BY KARYN SPORY

Mt. Pleasant News

Students at Iowa Wesleyan University are hoping one can make a difference.

Freshmen participating in Wesleyan’s seminar class will be holding a can drive this week to benefit Fellowship Cup. But it’s not just the non-perishable foods that they hope will make a difference, the students hope their participation and engagement in the community will also make a difference.

“We’re doing this to help out families in the Henry County area,” said freshman Tierra Jones. “We’ve learned through Ken Brown (Fellowship Cup director) that there are 150-175 families that are fed every day through the Fellowship Cup.”

“Coming from Chicago, you notice where the poverty is,” said Claudia Villalobos. “Here, it doesn’t seem like anyone could (go hungry) because it’s so small and integrated. We’re surrounded by so much food, how is there poverty?” she asked her fellow classmates.

Her peer, Gabrielle Moberg, said she’s originally from Mt. Pleasant and didn’t realize the level of food insecurity in her hometown.

According to the Iowa State Extension Office, food insecurity means a household has limited access to food due to lack of money or resources. Henry County has an estimated 2,790 residents who face food insecurity every day.

“I have lived in this community, I went to high school here, this is my hometown and I didn’t even realize this was going on,” she said.

To help local families, Wesleyan students will be collecting cans and non-perishable food from now until Monday, Nov. 21. Donations can be dropped off at the Fellowship Cup or Science Hall at IWU. Students will also be set up outside of Walmart and Hy-Vee today (Wednesday) and Monday, Nov. 21, from 4 to 8 p.m., collecting food items.

The seminar class is split into three sections and serves as a sort of extended orientation for new students. “The kids get credit for going to things in the community like Old Threshers and helping out with the haunted house,” said Lisa Kongable, one of three instructors for the course.

Kongable said the class is structured to not only integrate students into campus life, but into the Henry County community as well.

“The Mt. Pleasant community and regional areas, I think, are very supportive to Iowa Wesleyan. We want to have that mutual support of giving back to the community as well so we can develop and strengthen our partnership,” she said.

“I’m going to be here for a bit,” Ethan Krout said with a chuckle. “You might as well get acquainted with the people you’re going to be around.”

Brittany Nuvez, a Plano, Ill., native said she was excited for the project. “Personally, I have done a lot of this (food collection) back home so doing it here definitely brings a sense of being back home,” she said.

 

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