On August 19, about 225 Lyon students, faculty, and staff assembled boxed lunches for charity with The Pack Shack, an organization dedicated to fighting food insecurity and having fun while doing it. The event was part of Lyon’s annual Weeks of Welcome, which celebrates new students and helps them get to know each other and the Lyon community.
Resident Director Ethan Ballard first brought The Pack Shack to Student Engagement Specialist Unswella Ankton’s attention when the plans to enrich students’ first few weeks of school had not been solidified. He sang the company’s praises, saying that The Pack Shack “focuses on its people: those who work for it and those whom it supports.”
A short while later, Lyon reached out to the company and eventually equipped the Scottish Heritage Building with long tables where The Pack Shack deposited tubs of food so that freshmen, transfer students, faculty, Greek life members, and other Lyon community members could assemble meals of rice, pasta, and vegetables. They donned hairnets, plastic gloves, and silly hats to prepare for The Pack Shack’s Feed the Funnel party. The participants packed the large room so tightly that some people had to sit outside.
Ballard, who has attended three of these parties, said The Pack Shack itself helped instill “an air of excitement” into a volunteer opportunity too often viewed as only a resume booster. The Pack Shack’s representative played music and sang with students. Together they boxed over 12,500 meals for local and state organizations like Our Father’s Table and The Arkansas Food Bank.
The Feed the Funnel Party was particularly beneficial for students because it allowed them to connect to the Batesville community and to learn about its needs. Ballard, like many at Lyon, would “love to see the Pack Shack have a yearly presence on campus as their emphasis on serving others is a standard of the Lyon community.”
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