LEAD 212 students who participated in the project.
Many of you might remember doing a canned food collection as part of your LEAD 212 Introduction to Leadership Studies experience. The School of Leadership Studies has been partnering with the Flint Hills Breadbasket for over ten years to coordinate their food collection across the Manhattan community. Every year our students raise the bar for the total amounts of food collected, and this year was no exception. In fact, this past semester, around 900 freshman students in LEAD 212 collected a record total 15,978 pounds of food and $1,635.30 to donate to the Flint Hills Breadbasket.
Maribeth Kieffer, Executive Director of the Flint Hills Breadbasket, shares, “Donations exceeded any other year due to the leadership of the instructors and the new perspective they put in motion with a mapping system that made a big difference for students to get into homes and tell people about the issue of hunger. We also want to thank the students for all their hard work and the Manhattan community donors for making this drive so successful.” This year, the Cats for Cans collection drive became part of a service-learning experience that focused on the role of leadership within addressing the issue of hunger. Titled the Hunger Project, students began by researching hunger in their home communities. Each learning community was then
assigned a neighborhood within the Manhattan community. Students developed a strategy to educate their respective neighborhoods on the issue of hunger, as well as collect cans and food items to contribute to the Flint Hills Breadbasket. After collecting the food items, students delivered donations to the Breadbasket and were able to participate in the sorting process. The Hunger Project provided a vehicle for students to actively apply and develop their individual leadership strengths to enhance the project’s impact. Students were encouraged to engage one another to breakdown the issue of hunger to the root causes and diagnose how leadership can affect the longterm needs of hunger locally, nationally, and internationally. “It was cool talking about the strengths in class and seeing them play out through the project. Everyone has such different strengths, but yet they can come together to create a project that can impact hundreds of people in our community,” reflects Morgan Pehlman, freshman in Business Administration.
Flint Hills Breadbasket Staff (left to right) Rick Haworth - Operations Manager Valon Jones - Client Service Coordinator Maribeth Kieffer - Executive Director