The Purdue University North Central students in the Community Health Nursing class recently donated non-perishable food items that will be given to PNC students in need.
Each semester, students in the class taught by Peggy Rose, PNC assistant professor of Nursing, collect items to be given to local charities and organizations. "It is our way of assisting to address the needs of the community," said Rose.
Dozens of cans of soup and chili, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta and pasta sauce, ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, instant potatoes and more were collected by the students. The food items were given to Dr. Linda Dutlinger, PNC associate professor of Developmental Studies, who informally collects food and monetary donations and distributes emergency bags of food to students as needed.
Duttlinger is an active volunteer and director of the food pantry in the Sorrowful Mother Catholic Church Food Pantry in Wheatfield, working with more than 200 families a month. It made sense to her to offer assistance to students in need. Duttlinger said that she distributed 55 bags of food during fall semester and has already given out two bags this semester. She stocks the bags with a 20 to 25 nutritious and tasty items that will feed a student for several days. She tries to include some cash for the purchase of some meat, fresh produce, milk or bread.
"I truly appreciate to Dr. Rose and her students for their donations," said Duttlinger. "When a student doesn't have food and they don't know where to turn for help, we're there for them. Those who are hungry do not want those around them to know their troubles, but are always grateful for our help."
Duttlinger and the PNC Dean of Students Office help to make students in need aware of community resources available to help them. Assistance is always confidential, said Duttlinger.
Student Colleen Jones, of Knox, donated several items. "I enjoy helping out in the community," she said, noting that she was part of the Harvest Fest in Knox and asked for food donations for a local food pantry as admission to a car show, rather than monitory donations. "Helping other people is what I do."
Jessica Barnes, of Chesterton, agreed that helping others is part of her makeup. "I have a great maternal instinct; it is what I want to do. That's why I'm becoming a nurse - so that I can do everything within my power and capabilities to help people."