This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. More info

Food for Thought, Rasmussen College Participates in Community Service Day

Community Service DayRecently, several co-workers and I participated in Rasmussen College’s Community Service Day. It gave team members from every campus the opportunity to give back to the community by participating in a local community service event.

The last time I actively participated in a service event was when I lived in Florida, and although I was happy to join in the service activity, I was also reticent; my e-mail was piling up, and I was in the middle of several projects that I could have used some quiet time to plow through. Still, I had committed, and it would be a nice break from the typical work routine.

Our office served at Second Harvest Heartland, the largest hunger relief organization in the Upper Midwest. I’ve donated to Second Harvest in the past – $10 here and there – thinking it was a local food bank serving dinners and providing canned foods. I was only half right. Second Harvest Heartland collects, warehouses, and distributes more than 70 million pounds of food annually to schools, shelters, shelves, and WIC programs. And, they do that with only eight full-time employees, which make volunteer groups vital.

Upon arrival, we were split into two groups. One group was responsible for sorting canned foods onto pallets. The food didn’t have labels, so the cans had to be sorted by a code printed on the cans. The group in which I participated was responsible for bagging rice. So what, right? Well, not exactly. We were responsible for breaking down a 1-ton bag of rice into 1-pound packages. That’s 2,000 bags of rice, give or take. We eagerly donned our hairnets and began scooping, measuring, and sealing bags to be stored and eventually delivered.

It’s easy, on your 50th bag of rice or so, to get into a rhythm, and let your mind wander to other things. Even now, you might be reading about 2,000 pounds of rice and not realize the true scale of resources provided by Second Harvest. I wanted to write this blog, in part as a reminder to myself of what we were really doing in that warehouse amidst the chatter and laughter:

  • 1 pound of rice is about 2 cups of rice cooked, or about 4 side-servings of rice.
  • According to Feeding America and the USDA, 48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure households in 2010.
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in America.
  • Hunger is the world’s number 1 health risk, killing more people than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. That’s according to the World Food Program.
  • 1 in 6 kids in MN is at risk of hunger.
  • 1 in 7 people in the world will go to sleep hungry tonight.

We finished the bag of rice that we started on Friday and went about our days – home to family meals and out to dinners that many folks, some of them our neighbors, never see. As for Second Harvest Heartland, another 12 tons of rice are waiting for the next round of volunteers.

I am blessed that I have never experienced hunger, and more so blessed that I was given the opportunity to reflect on that while helping those who do, albeit in a small way. I am grateful to work for a college that gives back to the community and for Second Harvest Heartland for the resources and services they provide for millions of men, women, and children.

To see more pictures from the Rasmussen College Community Service Day, please visit our Facebook page.

Emily O'Connor

Emily O’Connor is the Director of Library and Learning Resources for Rasmussen College. She has served Rasmussen for more than 7 years in Florida and Minnesota. She currently resides in the Twin Cities with her dog Pete.

default blog author

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-healthcare-management 0 Credits 90 Credits 180 Credits 48 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE Start Here MASTER’S DEGREE PURSUERS End Here BACHELOR’S DEGREE End Here MASTER’S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsb 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 90 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsd 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsjs 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsn 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-national icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-bank icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-mglass icon-scales icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x