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FHSU leaders take on hunger




A new initiative at Fort Hays State University to address hunger issues was launched Tuesday morning as Tiger Food Exchange opened inside Forsyth Library.

Based on an idea of former FHSU student Jordan Schmeidler, now a student at the University of Kansas, the food exchange developed through efforts of the Global Leadership Project, Department of Political Science's Food and Hunger Initiatives and Forsyth Library.

"It was (Schmeidler's) dream, and we definitely want to thank him," Global Leadership Project student coordinator Kelly Nuckolls said during a ribbon-cutting event for the food exchange. "He was really passionate about starting a food pantry on campus."

After the decision was made to house a food pantry on campus, Forsyth Library Director John Ross stepped forward to make space in the library available for the project.

"We are very, very excited about this new opportunity for the library," Ross said. "We feel that it's the library's role to take leadership in service activities. We think this is the right place."

The food exchange is a community-based effort, according to Food and Hunger Initiative student coordinator Brendon McCampbell. He said efforts have started to create an exchange that serves not just as a food resource but as a marketplace of ideas, recipes and cooking classes.

"We're trying to increase the food culture on campus," he said.

FHSU's Food and Hunger Initiatives was funded through a Student Government Association educational opportunity grant last spring and is in its first semester of operation on campus.

In addition to canned and boxed foods, the center, which has a refrigerator, also will serve as an exchange for fresh produce when available, from the campus garden.