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Dinner will serve up empty plates for some

By ALICIA J. COVERDALE

Special to The Hays Daily News

At 7 p.m. Thursday, the Global Leadership Seminar Course at Fort Hays State University will host a free "Food for Thought Dinner" in the Memorial Union Ballroom -- but not everybody will be fed.

The first 50 people in line for the event will get something to eat. The rest won't.

"Once food runs out at the event, the rest of the people will not receive food. We are doing it this way, because it is a more accurate representation of hunger in our world," said Tre' Giles, one of the student organizers of the event.

He added organizers hope the rest of the attendees stick around for the remainder of the program, which will feature dialogue with representatives from different religions and discussion of religious obligations to feed the hungry.

"From Harvest to the Hungry" events have been ongoing since February, sponsored by the Fort Hays State University Center for Civic Leadership, FHSU Forsyth Library, Hays Public Library, Ellis County Historical Society, the Kansas Humanities Council and the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

Kelly Nuckolls, a political science major, is the student coordinator for the American Democracy Project and Global Leadership Project at FHSU. She said these events are striving "not only to raise awareness on the issue of hunger in our community, but to also bring the university and the Hays community together in creating a plan for the solution."

Previous events included Bob Boxes, where volunteers partnered with the Kansas Food Bank in packing boxes for seniors in need; a presentation on Kansas agriculture and food production changes through time, featuring David Vail of Kansas State University; and The Universities Fighting World Hunger Food Summit in Overland Park, where FHSU students traveled to engage in discussion about the current state of world hunger.

"I'd say our largest turnout was at the Bob Boxes event," Nuckolls said, "and we really want to emphasize (attendance at) the public forum."

The forum will be at 6:30 p.m. April 11, in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The focus will be on what obligations Kansans have to feed the starving in communities in the state, the nation, and the globe.

Speakers from previous events will be in attendance, including Steve Baucus, president of the Kansas Farm Bureau, as well as representatives from the Salvation Army and Kansas Food Bank.

This is the first year for such a collaboration of events and special guests and was created by Shala Mills, professor and chairwoman of the FHSU political science department, and Curt Brungardt, executive director for the Center of Civic Leadership and professor of leadership studies at FHSU.

For more, visit www.facebook.com/fromharvesttohungry.

Alicia J. Coverdale, Holton, is a senior at FHSU.