Video by Liz Groth — Story by Kalli Seglund
As part of SNC’s Into the Streets service event, over 40 first year students served their community through the Potato Drop. The Society of St. Andrew partnered with a Wisconsin grower to coordinate the donation of the potatoes and Schneider provided the freight to transport the potatoes to our area. SNC students served by unloading the truck and readying the potatoes for distribution to local food pantries. A team of upperclass students, including Kalli Seglund, helped to coordinate the distribution. The following is her story.
The days leading up to the 2014 Potato Drop were filled with logistics and planning creative ways to inspire and motivate the volunteers, especially since we knew that the hot August weather would be unwelcoming. With 42,000 pounds of potatoes to be distributed to nine different pantries, teamwork and cooperation were necessary throughout the entire event to reach our goal. With the dedication of our nine community partners and students, we were successful. It was rewarding to see how all of these aspects came together in the end. The Potato Drop was an experience which allowed me to realize the impact that just a few hours of community service can have.
Seeing all of the fresh, new faces participating in Potato Drop during their first week at SNC as underclassmen showed me how well the college really does strive to serve our surrounding community. Although the service only lasted for a few hours, it gave the students and their mentors a great opportunity to bond while also challenging them to cooperate and strategize together. Not all of the challenges could be predicted and solved prior to the event, so it was up to the students to problem solve and work things out. Having the students strategize as a team gave them a chance to use their skills to their fullest potential. As one of the coordinators of the event, it was satisfying to see the students solve these problems with their peers because that is a skill needed in all areas of life.
Seeing community partners like Paul’s Pantry come to pick up the potatoes really showed the impact each 10 pound bag of potatoes will have. Knowing that the potatoes will go to those in need in our area is a wonderful feeling because we were able to give back to the community we live in. The appreciation and assistance we received from the pantries was also rewarding because it showed how each pantry worked together to accomplish one common goal through the Potato Drop — to help feed families in need in the Green Bay area.
A letter which we received from the director of First United Methodist Church, Vicki Hoell, really exemplified this. She wrote: “we have so many families with young children (beautiful children) who are happy to receive produce to round out their meals.” Hearing how grateful these members of our community are to receive the potatoes we distributed through this year’s Potato Drop is an amazing feeling.
The 2014 Potato Drop truly opened my eyes to how well SNC and the surrounding community are able to come together for a single cause to benefit those in need. The 42,000 pounds of potatoes will be able to provide a lot of meals for people living in our area. Through the Potato Drop I learned the importance of teamwork and cooperation, and how these can be used to better serve and impact others.