Students fight hunger, spread a little cheer along the way

A look at the student organization Marquette Ending Hunger


Photo courtesy of Patrick Myers

FUNDRAISING – Myers (far left) stands outside with volunteers promoting Marquette Ending Hunger. Myers said that the group’s goals for each semester tend to be doing everything “bigger and better,” gaining more members, raising more money and providing more donations.

Harry Stine

Professor of mass communication and multimedia production Mark Shevy recalled one day in 2013 when student Lauren Larson gave a classroom presentation on hunger. Her professor, Sara Potter, encouraged Larson to use the knowledge she had gained to do something, and Marquette Ending Hunger (MEH) was born. Once the organization was formed, Larson reached out to Shevy to act as their faculty advisor.

“I was honored to join students committed to serving others in such an important way,” Shevy said. “I’ve been all in ever since.”

Today, the group is run by co-presidents Patrick Myers and Dallas “Sal” Wiertella. Myers said he is still a little new to the group, having joined at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. After learning about the group from Shevy, he thought it would be a good cause to join.

“I think we all do it because it’s something that we really enjoy,” Myers said. “It’s a constructive way for us to kind of get together and hang out. And in that time, we’re doing something that’s meaningful and interesting. We’re just trying to make awareness for this issue and help fight this issue and have fun while doing it.”

The group does not work alone either. On top of the fundraisers they put on, Myers named St. Vincent de Paul, Shania Kids Can, the TV6 Canathon and the NMU Food Pantry as organizations Marquette Ending Hunger has helped out with. According to Breann Wallrapp, director of the NMU Food Pantry, both MEH and the Food Pantry can be found at the same awareness activities and student events.

Myers gave high praise to the NMU Food Pantry, calling it “a really awesome resource.” He said the pantry is a great way to fight food insecurity for college students, who usually do not have a lot of money to spend. He himself is proud to support the pantry and advocates that anyone with extra food donate, as long as the items are not opened or expired.

He also was not short when describing Shevy’s role in the organization. Calling him “one of my favorite human beings,” Myers said Shevy attends meetings, helps plan events and keeps an eye on funds.

“[Shevy] is a full-fledged leg of Marquette Ending Hunger,” Myers said. “He is the reason that it’s had the success it’s had in the past as well.”

In turn, Shevy praised all of the students in the group, taking note of their dedication to helping people. He also said that at meetings, he uses his time spent with the group to let them know what plans have worked, and even meets with the group leaders to discuss goals for the semester.

“There is joy and sorrow simultaneously in the world, and I don’t want to neglect either one,” Shevy said. “If we have an opportunity to create a little more good in life – a positive experience and a happy memory through friendship, laughter, or just taking a moment to acknowledge our bond formed through taking on challenges together – why not do it?”

He added that at the end of this school year, the group will partner with NMU Rec Sports to hold a massive Zumba session in Vandament Arena, where food donations will also be accepted. It will take place Thursday, April 27 from 8 to 9 p.m.