Saturday, December 14 2013, 04:47 PM MST
DSU Students Prepare 50,000 Boxes of Mac'N'Cheese
(KUTV) College students are used to making macaroni and cheese as a cheap meal for themselves, but on the campus of Dixie State University in St. George, making tens of thousands of "Mac'N'Cheese" dinners is a way to help those in need.
The university teamed up with United Way Dixie to make 50,000 macaroni and cheese dinner packets as part of a campus-wide fall service project.
"The students love it," said Jordon Sharp, DSU's director of student involvement. "It's great to be all in one place and serving together."
The dry-packaged meals will have a shelf life of two years and will be distributed to food pantries in Southern Utah.
"They store a long time and they're healthy," said Carol Hollowell, director of the Washington County Volunteer Center. "They're easy to pack around for a lot of our homeless families."
In addition to being convenient, Hollowell says the macaroni and cheese will have protein added to make it more nutritious, something lacking in a lot of the food donated for food assistance.
"Lots of people hand out carbs," she said. "But when you're hungry it doesn't stick very long and so we're trying to give them something of nutritional value."
Hollowell helped organize the service project and says the students will be using $12,500 of raw materials to assemble the meals, which puts the price of each meal at only a quarter.
Money to buy the macaroni noodles, cheese powder and soy protein came from sponsors, including Wal-Mart; Target; Zions Bank, The Spectrum newspaper, Chase Bank and Cache Valley Bank.
With Dixie State's recent transition to university status, school officials say service to the local community has become even more of an emphasis.
"Having service part of their education is part of the college experience," said John Brooksby, clubs and services coordinator at DSU. "The goal is to have them service minded here, while they are on campus, so that later on in the future they stay service minded."
"One of our big initiatives this year is to connect the campus and community," said Student Body President Carlos Morgan. "There's that intrinsic value that you have from doing something for someone else."
By Ladd Egan
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)