On April 15, the annual Supermarket Sweep event kicked off the Little 5 philanthropy sequence and made a significant impact in addressing food insecurity in Putnam County. This year's event raised over $6000 in in-kind donations for local food pantries, surpassing previous years' contributions.

Presenting to campus during the Little 5 meeting, Stone Scholars from the Hartman Center for Civic Engagement emphasized the importance of addressing food insecurity, where it was revealed that over 4,000 individuals in the community are concerned about where their next meal will come from, representing 1 in 6 people. The issue gets more concern during the summer as schools in the area that offer free and reduced-price lunches close down, making access to meals limited for families, especially ones with children.

4,000 individuals in the Greencastle community are concerned about where their next meal will come from, representing 1 in 6 people.

The Supermarket Sweep event, which has been running for the past seven years in collaboration with DePauw Student Government, the local 4-H, and the Purdue Extension, aims to restock the shelves of local pantries before the DePauw students leave campus for the summer. By participating in the event, community members not only contribute to raising awareness about food insecurity but also provide food and necessitiesto those in need.

This year's Supermarket Sweep kicked off with the Ducky Challenge on April 9th, where participants searched for hidden rubber duckies around campus. Each duck found earned points for the participant's team, with additional points awarded for correctly answering food insecurity-based questions. Then, throughout April 10 to April 12, Stone Scholars tabled challenges in Stewart Plaza, offering participants the chance to earn points by completing various food insecurity-based tasks. The main goal of the event was not only for teams to earn additional money for purchasing in-kind donations, but also for students all around campus to learn about food insecurity and the mission behind Supermarket Sweep.

On the day of Supermarket Sweep, April 15, Stone Scholars and other student volunteers showed up at Kroger from as early as 10 am to promote the event to citizens of Greencastle and raise donations on-site. Little 5 team representatives, then, began their challenge between 7:30 to 9:00 pm, using the rewards they had received from previous challenges and the total money each team individually raised to buy food items. 

Thanks to the generous contributions of the community and participating teams, a total of 26 shopping carts were filled with donations for the Putnam County Pantry Coalition, each of whose value ranging from $225-250 of in-kind donations, which would do a significant job securing meals for families and children in Putnam County over the summer. And of course, the event would not have been held without the thoughtful planning and execution of the Stone Scholars cohort of the Hartman Center (shout out to Anna Sherrill, Stone advisor, and the Stone interns, Amzie Maienbrook ‘26 and Cole Melton ‘26, for having provided immense support). The success of the Supermarket Sweep, once again, highlights the power of collective action in addressing food insecurity and supporting those in need within the community.