Hundreds of Indiana Wesleyan University students participated in LoveFast, a meal
donation program, from March 26-28.
Jeff Dunn (sr), who led the event this year, said 241 students donated 1,011 meals and 1,247 points this year.
LoveFast first began in 2009 under the direction of students from the John Wesley Honors
College. Dunn was a freshman when it began.
“It was an idea that the Honors College Students Association came up with, just a way for
people to fast from a meal and pray for the local community,” Dunn said. “And then we decided,
alongside of that, it would be great if that meal that people fasted from could then be donated to
the community since that is who we are praying for.”
In the first year of the program, students could only donate and fast from one meal.
The year after that, LoveFast didn’t occur due to another meal donation program. Dunn said that
program ended up not happening, so no meal donation happened in 2010. Then, last year,
Dunn said the maximum donation expanded to five meals per person and an unlimited number of points. All of the donations go to St. Martin Community Center.
“And we’ve had students from the Honors College Student Association volunteer at St. Martin
and work with the food pantry, so with that experience, we just had more of a connection with
them,” Dunn said, “and so we talked to them and they were very helpful and we stepped into that so we just kept that up.”
In order for the program to happen, students needed permission from Pioneer College Caterers
to exchange the meals and points. Even though Chris Lampson, resident district manager, wasn’t working for Pionner at IWU in 2009, he wanted to keep the exchange program intact.
“Whenever they started it out, we thought it was a good thing to partner,” Lampson said. “Students wanted to do something for the community, and so we have been doing that for the last few years.”
Rather than sending money to St. Martin, Lampson said Pioneer purchases non-perishable goods with the money that results from the donated meals and points. Lampson said the amount of money per meal derives from the plate cost, overhead, labor and miscellaneous charges. So the final amount of money still has to be processed. However, it is certain that one point equals one dollar, according to Lampson.
“We go and buy that amount of food, bring it on campus and then we set it out front,” Lampson
said, “and then they have some kind of ceremony and invite St. Martin’s representative here and
students will sit out front [of Baldwin] for a day so people can actually see what they did.”
Next school year, Dunn said he hopes the leaders of LoveFast will set more specific goals to
build off this year’s result.