St. Cloud State University (SCSU) in St. Cloud, Minn., recently participated in a unique volunteer effort, joining student volunteers at 50 college campuses in 26 states –all during the same week—to pack healthy snack packs to feed those in need in their communities.
The effort was part of the Cheerios™ Good Goes Round Campaign, the national program that aims to help colleges and universities improve the health of their communities while also giving them a turnkey way to promote volunteerism on campus.
At St. Cloud State University, in partnership with General Mills and the campus’ foodservice provider Chartwell’s, students packed more than 300 MATTERbox snack packs to share with the St. Cloud Salvation Army’s Emergency Services Food Shelf. The MATTERbox program provides businesses and organizations of all types with a simple way to coordinate group or “speed” volunteer efforts that promote healthy food access and nutrition education.
“We know there is a lot of need in the community. Whenever there is an opportunity to do something where we’re able to give back and do some type of volunteer event, we are so excited to do it,” said Laura Wacker-Hansen, MBA, RDN, LD, marketing director for Chartwell’s.
A student organization, the Healthy Huskies, helped get the word out and gather volunteers who came together in the middle of SCSU’s student union to pack the MATTERboxes. Each box included healthy snack items such as Whole Grain Cheerios, Nature Valley Granola Bars, nut butter and applesauce.
Laura said it was special to see so many students and other volunteers come together to pack and then deliver the boxes to the Salvation Army later that day.
“It was nice to see how it all works, to make something happen, and feel a connection to the organization and the people we are helping,” said Laura, adding that speed volunteer efforts like this make a lot of sense for campuses since college students are very interested in volunteerism but may not always have a lot of time.
“The neat thing about this program is students could join in no matter how much time they had, that was a big draw,” she added.
For more information on the event at SCSU:
For more information on the MATTERbox program and conducting a volunteer effort on your campus, visit: https://www.matter.ngo/what-we-do/matterbox/