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Lead-ND hosts Project CPR to fight local food shortage

Adam Llorens | Monday, May 2, 2011

Lead-ND, a group of student volunteers working with local South Bend students, hosted their annual end-of-the-year service work called Project CPR: Community. Preservation. Revival. Saturday, in hopes of increasing awareness of South Bend’s growing food shortage.

“The mission of LeadND is to assist in the educational process of local schools within the South Bend community,” sophomore Matt Lynch, one of the event coordinators, said. “Clay, Jackson and Jefferson are the schools we focus on, and the students at these schools helped us with the project.”

The group held the project at Beacon Heights Park. Junior J.P. McCabe also helped coordinate the event.

“One of the main problems we discovered with the South Bend community is the shortage of food that many citizens experience,” Lynch said. “When we talked [with our group] about the possibility of helping out low-income families with the students, we saw the passion they felt for the issue and knew that was going to be the focus of this year’s project.”

At the gathering, local families were entertained with the sounds of the Notre Dame Glee Club and were treated to a dinner. In addition, each person was able to leave with a substantial amount of non-perishable food items.

“One hundred and twenty eight boxes of food were donated by the Indiana Food Bank,” Lynch said. “In addition to this, we had a food drive on campus where students and staff were able to donate non-perishable good. … In the end, we had four full boxes of food left over that the people were able take amongst themselves.”

Participation in the event was high, as expected, he said.

“We had about 80 to 100 people attend the event, though many came at the end to simply pick up their non-perishable food,” Lynch said.

In addition to the members of the Lead-ND, the club received assistance from members outside of the Notre Dame community as well to help make the event a success.

“We got a lot of help from local State Farm agent Calvin Johnson and South Bend Council member Henry Davis,” Lynch said. “Our students from the grade schools came out as well and helped to distribute food to the guest and were able to interact with children attending the dinner. … It was a really enjoyable and fun experience.”