According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 48.8 million Americans, including 16.2 million kids, struggle with hunger. Those kids are sick more often, cannot learn as much or as well, and have significantly higher levels of behavioral, emotional and academic problems. This Halloween, DMU students struck out to counter this scary issue: On central Iowa’s “beggars’ night,” approximately 25 osteopathic and podiatric students and family members invaded the Waveland Park and Beaverdale neighborhoods not to seek treats but instead to collect donations to help stock the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s emergency food pantry. The group piled up more than 1,000 food items.
Tagged “Cans to Cure Hunger,” the effort was part of a larger program, De-feet Childhood Hunger, a national coalition of podiatric medical offices and podiatry students. Organizers Elizabeth Yurish, D.O.’15, and Katie Besselman, D.P.M.’15, expressed gratitude to the neighborhoods, the volunteers and DMU’s student services staff.
“Katie was interested in supporting De-feet Childhood Hunger, and I was inspired after attending the National Sigma Sigma Phi conference,” says Yurish, president of DMU’s chapter of the national osteopathic honor society. “Everyone had a great time.”