HELENA — Instead of giving something up for Lent, a group of Carroll College public health students decided to take on a project. It’s called "Forty Days of Food."
Throughout Lent, students brought in one food item per day—all of it to be donated to Helena Food Share. The idea for Forty Days of Food came out of associate professor Kelly Parsley’s intro to health sciences class.
“We talked about how probably about 20-percent of Helena kiddos are food insecure,” Parsley said. “We started talking about what kinds of ways we can support food distribution in Helena and my students just took the idea and ran with it.”
Around 80 students participated in Forty Days of Food. Carroll College freshman and public health student Britlyn Mailey said in her class, teams of four students each worked together to build food boxes. Mailey said she and her classmates tried to think of foods kids would want to eat.
“In our group, we got Pop-Tarts and Gushers,” Mailey said. “We also have soup, Annie’s Mac-n-cheese, gluten-free options stuff like that that people would want to eat and get excited eating.”
Carroll College junior Mara Lynch said the program was a great way to get involved and help the community.
“It’s really great just supporting people in the community that are in need,” Lynch said. “It’s just an awesome way to give back to the community.”
The Carroll College students dropped off their boxes of food at Helena Food Share’s Lewis Street pantry on Wednesday. In all, they collected 425-pounds of food.
“Carroll is just particular in the level of student giving back to the community,” Parsley said. “This is just what Saints do, it’s not surprising when you think about who are students are.”