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Packing food for those in need

Over 200 volunteers gathered at NIACC Wednesday afternoon to pack meals to be distributed to food banks and student food pantry

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 8:46 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - You may know what it's like to be hungry, but do you know what it's like to go without food?

A couple hundred NIACC students, staff and alumni packaged meals Wednesday afternoon for those who need them, including those on campus.

Hitting the books is on hold for NIACC freshman Trey Sampson, as today, he's hitting the boxes...or rather, packing the boxes. 

"My mother...she was a single mother raising 3-4 kids, and she had to go to the food bank sometimes. She did her best to help us out, and we really appreciated it."

Help comes in all shapes and sizes, like macaroni and cheese and oatmeal. Ingredients of an on-campus effort to feed the hungry. Roughly 40,000 meals were all packed, thanks to volunteers who came to help, and will be distributed to food banks throughout Iowa.

"It's amazing. They're doing their best to help everybody and anybody that needs it. It's really a good experience to go through."

As Dean of Continuing Education at NIACC, Terry Schumaker also sees the continuing need to provide close to home, serving their students with not only education, but through an on-campus food pantry.

"We've had it for a couple years, there's just a need for it. So as that need gotten bigger and bigger, we stepped up and added more products and make it available to as many students as needed."

"There's just a lot of issues in the communities and a lot of people have to choose between gas money and food sometimes, and whatever we can do to help lower that burden of getting through and getting done with college, we try to do that here at NIACC."

And for those like Trey, it's more than an outreach; it's a life changer.

"I've always tried to help people in need because I've been there when I was growing up, so I know that the food bank and all that, I really appreciate that, it helps."

The event was put on as part of the college's 100th anniversary, and ties in with their mission of helping others and giving back. The idea for a packaging event came to NIACC's foundation office, while looking for ways to give back to the community.

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