Food Finders Food Bank receives 2014 Exemplary Community Partner award

November 19, 2014  

Food Finders Food Bank has received Purdue's 2014 Exemplary Community Partner Award.

The award recognizes local nonprofits that provide opportunities for Purdue students to enhance their education through volunteer and service-learning activities. The award carries a $1,000 cash prize, and it will be presented on Jan. 24 at Mackey Arena during halftime of the Purdue men's basketball game against Iowa. The game starts at noon.

A panel representing the leadership of Boiler Volunteer Network, Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), the College of Liberal Arts Engagement office, the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Community Relations selected the award's recipient.

Jennifer Bay, associate professor of English, nominated Food Finders Food Bank for the award. Through myriad volunteer and service-learning opportunities, the organization provides students with an understanding of the complex issues surrounding access to food, according to Bay's nomination letter.

Each year, at least 250 Purdue students complete some form of volunteer work for Food Finders Food Bank, Bay writes. Further, for the past five years, graduate and undergraduate English students have completed tasks such as surveying partner agencies to determine food need; creating a food sorting guide and food sorting instructional videos for Food Finders' volunteers; creating a brochure about using state nutrition supplement benefits to create nutritious meals and much more.

Undergraduate English students also have worked at Food Finders as unpaid interns, and former students have been hired on as employees at the organization.

"Moreover, my students are not only learning more about the complexities of food insecurity in Indiana, but they are learning what it means to write and communicate in real-world community settings in Indiana," Bay writes.

"Graduate students are being prepared to conduct research, develop survey research skills and report their collected data in way helpful to nonprofit organizations."

Last year, the Hanna Community Center won the Exemplary Community Partner Award, and in 2012 the Lafayette Crisis Center won the inaugural award.

Writer: Amanda Hamon Kunz, 49-61325, 

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