Luther senior develops program to turn unused dining dollars into food

Luther College senior Blaise Schaeffer offered fellow Luther students an alternative to losing their end of the year surplus meal money by pairing Luther's Dining Services with Decorah First Lutheran Church Food Pantry.

The Decorah High School graduate worked on a "Change Project" for his work with Launching Luther Leaders to help get that leftover money turned into food for those who need it.

His project, "Dining Dollars for Decorah" allowed Luther students to pledge their unused Dining Dollars to the food pantry. Once he had the support of L3 Adviser and Assistant Dean Jane Hildebrand, Luther class of 1974, Schaeffer approached Dining Services and enlisted the help of General Manager Wayne Tudor and Operations Manager Diane Narum, Luther class of 2001, to figure out which foods were most suitable to send to the food pantry.

Luther's Dining Services recently purchased the food for Decorah's First Lutheran Church Food Pantry, delivering more than 2,700 pounds of non-perishable items to the waiting arms of Food Pantry Director Carolyn Flaskerud.

Schaeffer, the son of Deb and Scot Schaeffer of Decorah, said he's excited to continue the project next year. "After running the Dining Dollars for Decorah program for a week at school, students donated a total of $2,915.99 dining dollars toward buying food for the food pantry! I'm thrilled and overly excited about the success of the program during the first year!"