IU Southeast and Kans for Kids work to fight hunger

Ashley Sizemore, News Editor

Kans for Kids is a program that is working to end the fight against hunger. It all started with an after school program at Indianapolis Public School 114 and an idea on the back of a file folder. Kathlene Denhard, University of Indianapolis graduate and New Albany native, was working with the school when funding for the schools current basket program fell through.

“After working with those kids for a while, it was very apparent that they needed help,” Denhard said.

Kans for Kids got its start in 2011. Denhard was supposed to study abroad that year, but her parents gave her the choice to either study in Ireland or start Kans for Kids. For Denhard, the choice was simple.

In the first year Kans for Kids was able to provide 35 baskets full of food, clothing and personal hygiene products. By the second year they managed to make 55 baskets and replenish the food pantry that they started at IPS 114.

“The third year we were able to do 75 baskets and replenish the food pantry. We also raised enough money to help two families that had lost their home,” Denhard said.

Denhard mentioned that she had received an update on one of those families and that they were doing well.

The organization also does Christmas baskets specifically to help families around the holidays.

“March of 2014 we brought Kans for Kids here. I knew I was graduating college soon, and I wanted to bring it home,” Denhard said.

She contacted New Albany high school and said that was how Kans for Kids got started with IU Southeast and how Denhard was able to get in touch with Ashley Curry, a current board member for Kans for Kids through IUS. They were able to make 30 baskets with NAHS for spring break and started doing Christmas baskets in New Albany as well. Kans for Kids is also working with Scribner Middle School and continuing work with IPS 114.

“We are doing a total of 200 baskets this year with all three schools combined. I work for AlphaMedia and they are backing us and have made us one of the charities for A Taste of Home event, which is one of our biggest events,” Denhard said.

Communications major Ashley Curry is on the board of directors for Kans for Kids. She has been working specifically in New Albany and has been working to involve the entire campus.

Curry said she originally got involved with Kans for Kids through a can drive that her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, did last year. The members of the sorority were searching for an event that all the greeks could work on together. After deciding to work with Kans for Kids they decided to get the whole campus involved as well.

“To get involved go to our website or Facebook page. You could also just start collecting non-perishable items, toys and clothing,” said Curry.

IUS campus brought in over 1,200 cans in less than a month and hope to continue through the beginning of December.

“Working with Kans for Kids and seeing all the baskets come together and go to help families lets you know that you have made a difference in the world. That’s a great feeling,” Curry said.

Denhard and Curry’s both mentioned that their goal is not only to make over 200 baskets this year, but also establish a food pantry that can be constantly replenished.

“100 percent of the donations go right back to the community, “ said Denhard.

To help “make hunger history” you can visit www.feedingkentuckiana.com to donate. Donations can also be made at the drop-offs around campus and at The Mower Shop on Preston Highway in Louisville. To contact Kathlene Denhard directly email her at kmdenhard@aol.com