By Alissa Sheppard
Numana is a nonprofit hunger relief organization with a goal to empower people to save the starving through meal packaging events. Volunteers get together to package meals to send overseas. The meals consist of rice, soy protein, freeze-dried beans, and vitamins to help the immune system of malnourished people. Caleb McNary, Director of Communications in Advocacy at Numana, said more than 20 million meals were packaged in six months, and with Numana traveling to different locations and hosting different events.
“My platform is no kid hungry,” said Carissa Kelley, Miss Kansas 2011. That is why she thought it would be a great idea to team up with Numana for this state-wide packaging event. One of her team members brought Numana to her attention, and after having a powerful meeting with the founder, she said she had to do something to help. With a serious issue like starvation, it is hard not to make people feel guilty, says Kelley. But that is not what she is here for.
“I want people to feel motivated to help. Working with Numana, you do not need to spend money. You get hands on experience with packaging food for hungry people around the world. My main goal is to motivate people to get involved,” said Kelley. “I feel like having a title and having accomplished something as big as being Miss Kansas makes people feel compelled to listen. I want to use my name to help people for the better.”
This year, twelve colleges are doing a state-wide food packaging event with Numana. Southwestern got involved because they wanted to follow their mission of leadership through service. “What better way to give service than to package meals?” said Lindsay Wilke, assistant director of Leadership. Wilke said she loves to work with Numana because you are not just sending money. You can be active and hands on with packaging the food.
“You can actually see how you are going to change lives,” said Wilke. “We want students to see how important it is to care about the world beyond Southwestern campus, and we want the rest of the state to see that Southwestern wants to be part of the change and wants change for the better” said Wilke.
Alissa Sheppard is a senior at Southwestern College, majoring in communication. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.