The fourth annual Community Impact Challenge announced this year’s winners on Oct. 27.

This is a grant competition done by cur- rent Emporia State students to make a positive impact on challenges that the Emporia community is facing.

This challenge is sponsored by Community Hornets, the Honors College and the Department of Communication and Theatre, according to Jasmine R. Linabary, co-founder and coordinator of the Community Impact Challenge.

“The winners this year were the team called Campus Food Access International committee and their focus is connecting international students with food resources on campus,” Linabary said. “So particularly addressing the concern of food insecurity among college students and especially how that plays out among international students here at ESU.”

ESU is home to many international students that travel from at least 33 different countries, such as China, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

International students make up about 6% of the entire student body on ESU’s campus, according to collegefactual.com.

The idea that campus could partner with members of the community to create cooking classes by using ingredients that you could find here locally to make something that tastes like home stood out to the judges, according to Linabary.

“The judges were also moved by the potential of this idea to be carried out long-term. This could continue to make an impact following the years after,” Linabary said.

Four years ago, a group of communication majors won the first annual Community Impact Challenge and came up with the Bag-a-Birthday idea.

This event was created to reach families in the Emporia community and provide them with items to give children birthday parties, according to the press release.

The first year that it was held, there were enough items collected to give children in over 200 families a birthday party.

The Emporia community is always looking for ways to connect with ESU and raise awareness about pressing issues.

“I hope the Community Impact Challenge continues to bring awareness and resources to important causes in our community,” Delaney Dold, communication alumna said.

Dold was a part of the group that came up with the Bag-a- Birthday idea and she wants to see a continuation of awareness about food insecurity in the community.

Lamda Pi Eta decided to continue the event this year for the community because they saw a pressing need in the Emporia community and it is even more prevalent this year because of COVID-19, according to Jaylie Postlewait, senior communication major and CIC Student Co- ordinator.

“I worked with Tessa Hall, president of Lamda Pi Eta, and we decided that we wanted to do something as a community to reach out to different local organizations to put up a donation box,” Postlewait said.

Students are able to get connected with the community and other students through groups such as the Community Impact Challenge.

“I am impressed with what students have done and identifying pressing needs in the community,” Postlewait said. “I think it’s awesome to see the groups of students come together to identify a problem.”

Postlewait encourages as many people as possible to sign up for the Community Impact Challenge next fall and go out to make a difference.

Currently, there is another donation drive that is collecting food at “The Vault” all through November that is organized by a team in an ESU Group Leadership Class.

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