Sep 19th, 2013 @ 11:31 am | Author: Greg Vanney
As part of their Learning to Live/Living to Learn common course, the entire freshman class of Valley City State University will harvest squash for distribution by the Great Plains Food Bank.

Scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 26, the harvest will take place on the farm of Dan Faust a few miles northwest of Valley City. Faust, a retired Lutheran pastor, grows the buttercup squash specifically for the Great Plains Food Bank, part of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota.

The VCSU freshmen and their Learning to Live mentors, numbering about 200, are bused from campus to the farm, where they work in groups to deposit the picked squash in crates. The crates of squash are then loaded by forklift into semi-trailers used by Great Plains Food Bank for distribution to more than 270 charitable feeding programs—shelters, soup kitchens and pantries—operating in nearly 100 communities throughout North Dakota. In a previous harvest, VCSU students were able to pick more than 50,000 pounds of squash in a few hours.

“This service activity gives our students a clear message about the importance of helping others and giving back to the community,” said Margaret Dahlberg, vice president for academic affairs at VCSU. “Throughout their careers at VCSU, these same students will be involved in a variety of community service activities through the organizations they participate in and the courses they take. Activities such as these promote leadership and engaged citizenship—both important qualities for future success."

This year’s harvest will be the third year for this particular VCSU Learning to Live/Living to Learn service project. In prior years students painted fire hydrants in Valley City and worked on flood clean-up efforts.