By Melody Brinigar
Staff reporter

Discipleship Southwestern, a service learning organization, is sponsoring a food drive during the month of September. Boxes across campus will serve as collection points for the donations going to the Winfield Food Pantry, located in the basement at Grace United Methodist Church.

This year’s chairperson for the Kingdom Committee is Brandi Young, religion and philosophy and business administration junior, serving in her third year with Discipleship Southwestern. “We are doing this because we want to help more than just the campus of Southwestern. We want to serve the people in the Winfield community,” said Young.

Having a food drive is a way to open the door for athletes, theater and individual students to participate.

“This is one way to show the love of God. It is important to us,” said Molly Just, director of Discipleship Southwestern. “The one thing I love about Discipleship is that it’s student led. Having a food drive wasn’t my idea, it was Brandi Young’s. The team was totally on board with the idea and I totally support it.”

“We’re delighted, of course,” said Nancy Tredway, a pantry volunteer for 15 years. The September collection is a unique idea. “November and December are typical times for food collections. However, we need more donations when summer hits and in the early fall. In the summer kids are home and in the fall parents are burdened with increased school expenses.”

The Winfield Community Food Pantry offers assistance to people in Winfield, Udall and Rock who are in need of food staples and personal hygiene items. Tredway said more than 7,400 people were served last year. As of Sept. 1, the pantry has served nearly 817 more people than at the same time in 2013.

Discipleship’s goal is to collect more than 300 items. Items needed are canned goods and basic personal hygiene necessities. The most needed food items include canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, saltines, instant mashed potatoes and rice. Personal hygiene necessities include shampoo, toothpaste and soap. You may find collection boxes located in the lobbies of all dorms, the lobby of Messenger and in Pam Olney’s office in Mossman Hall.

The Food Pantry is located at 320 College Street and is staffed by 20-plus volunteers. It is open from 8:30 – 11 a.m., Monday through Friday. Families coming to the Food Pantry must complete a referral form, have proof of a Winfield, Udall or Rock address and meet the income guidelines. Eligible families are given staple items and vouchers to use for fresh food at a local grocery store.

Melody Brinigar is an undergraduate majoring in communication. You may email her at Melody.Brinigar@sckans.edu.