Two Hastings College juniors have been honored with a campus award for their volunteer efforts on behalf of the campus food pantry, known as Crimson Cupboard.

Courtney Hanson and Abby Kryzsko received the Judy Sandeen Award for outstanding service to the college campus and local community.

The presentation was made May 18 during a virtual meeting attended by Hanson; Kryzsko; the college’s Service Learning Committee; several HC faculty and staff members; and Sandeen, for whom the award is named.

The award is given in honor of Sandeen, who retired as director of the Campus Health Center in 2007 after 29 years at the college. The recipients win a $400 prize, which is to be donated to any nonprofit organization of their choice. This year, the money will go to Crimson Cupboard.

Criteria for the award include exemplary work in fundraising for a major cause, bringing awareness to the campus regarding a major justice issue, advocating for social change, and/or ongoing service to others in the campus or community.

Hanson and Kryzsko were recognized for their work on campus maintaining and expanding Crimson Cupboard. The two streamlined the electronic request form, designed posters for display on campus, lobbied to add a link to food requests to all faculty syllabi, and worked to ensure the program was adequately funded.

Crimson Cupboard relocated from French Memorial Chapel to the Hurley MacDonald Building on campus in spring 2019. During the move, Hanson and Kryzsko organized all of the food donations to ensure the pantry was stocked properly. They filled more than 300 food orders in the 2019-20 academic year, bringing them to the drop-off locations on campus.

Both students worked on behalf of Crimson Cupboard while pursuing their studies, part-time jobs and other volunteer work.

Hanson, who is from Brookings, South Dakota, is majoring in communication studies and philosophy and religion. She is a member of the Hastings College forensics team and works as an intern for the college’s Office of Marketing and Communication. She will be a student representative on the Hastings College Lcture Series Student Committee for 2020-21.

Kryzsko, an education major from Hastings, addresses food insecurity not only through Crimson Cupboard, but also with the student-run Hastings College Food4Thought program, which provides backpacks of food to elementary school children and their families for the weekends.

Kryzsko volunteers for the Hastings Literacy Program and has been involved with organizations that advocate for women’s wellness. She worked on her practicum and student teaching during the 2019-20 academic year.

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