Kent State students participate in Let’s Can Hunger Challenge

Katie Paukst

Kent State students are trying to end world hunger, one can at a time. The Students in Free Enterprise organization at Kent State’s Trumbull campus has accepted the Let’s Can Hunger Challenge, sponsored nationally by Campbell’s Soup and SIFE International.

SIFE is a nonprofit, student-run organization that develops community projects that drive social and economic change.

“Our focus has been 90 percent based on local needs and 10 percent on global research,” said Kira Jackson, president of Trumbull’s SIFE. “As a regional team, in order to make the most impact, we concentrated on local efforts and collaborated with local businesses, municipals and food banks to alleviate urgent hunger needs.”

“On a global level, we have collaborated with Better World Books collecting using college textbooks for third-world countries,” Jackson said.

SIFE’s mission led the organization to participate in the Campbell’s Let’s Can Hunger Challenge, with teams ranging from the U.S. to Mexico to Canada. This mission is a comprehensive hunger challenge including raising awareness, translating awareness to action in the form of urgent hunger relief and empowering those in need to defeat the cycle of hunger.

Trumbull campus decided to take on the 5,000-pound challenge, meaning it has pledged to collect 5,000 pounds of both canned goods and nonperishable foods. Trumbull’s SIFE team is inviting any team, consisting of two or more people, from all Kent State regional campuses to construct a Kent State-themed food sculpture with a minimum of 30 cans. However, groups can collect any nonperishable food for donations.

After registering at no charge, teams are to then post the picture of their can sculptures on Facebook by March 7 at noon. Whichever photo receives the most “likes” will win the competition. In order to submit and “like” a photo, you must “friend” the KSUTC SIFE Facebook page.

“Our team decided to accept the challenge of 5,000 pounds based on the urgent local need,” said Antone Klecha, vice president of Trumbull’s SIFE.

“The KSU Trumbull campus is home to the only SIFE team in the Kent system, however, we have invited all regional campuses to join us in fulfilling our 5,000-pound goal,” Klecha said.

Trumbull has already challenged the other six regional campuses.

Katie McMenamin, former president of SIFE, said, “We expect all campuses to participate with multiple teams. We currently have the attention and support of all of the regional deans and assistant deans.”

This will be Trumbull’s SIFE’s first time participating in this challenge. Though it is the organization’s first year, Jacob Roope, SIFE co-adviser, said, “… We have ongoing and future plans to keep the donations flowing to local food banks, in hope to expand on the lasting relief for future semesters.”

So far, SIFE has collected approximately 1,700 pounds. At the end of the competition, SIFE plans to donate all cans to multiple local organizations in need of food.

“Stark County Hunger Task Force is collaborating with Stark campus for the can sculpture challenge for donation,” said Darrin Shaulis, former president of SIFE. “In the end, our goal is to encourage other campuses to donate to their local food banks, nonprofits, etc.”

Voting will begin March 8 to 14, with winners being announced on the KSU Trumbull SIFE Facebook page March 15. The grand-prize winner will receive $150, while second place (People’s Choice) will take home $75, and the third-place (Artist’s Choice) winner will take home a $50 Walmart gift card.

Deadline for registration is Feb. 29. For more information on registration or voting, please email [email protected].

Contact Katie Paukst at [email protected].