Hello everyone, and welcome back to our VISTA Spotlight Series! Each month we spotlight one of our AmeriCorps VISTA Members and the amazing work they do. Our members and their host sites are the heart and soul of our program, and we want to show our appreciation for their efforts.
This month’s spotlight is of Kaleigh Steigman who is serving out of North Carolina State University as an NC Hunger Corps VISTA!
Before joining the NC State team, Kaleigh graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2023 with a B.A. in Public and Urban Affairs after majoring in Environmental Policy and Planning. Her undergraduate experience as an intern with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Virginia Tech Office of Sustainability furthered her interest in addressing complex social and environmental issues. She was excited to join AmeriCorps for the chance to continue exploring her interests while gaining valuable skills and empowering communities.
The Pack Essentials Hub is NC State’s basic needs support department, which offers students a centralized location on campus for essential needs, expanded resources, and community building, so students do not have to choose between their academic success and fulfilling their basic needs. NC State’s on campus food pantry, Feed the Pack, is a key Pack Essentials program that works to meet the food needs of university students, staff, and faculty with dignity and respect. Feed the Pack receives support from Food Lion, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, and many other generous donors.
Kaleigh is continuing work started by previous AmeriCorps VISTAs to empower NC State students, staff, and faculty to create a community in which all members have access to the resources they need to meet their basic needs. As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Kaleigh works to build capacity for the Pack Essentials Hub through fundraising, partnership building, and outreach and education efforts. She serves as a support to the Feed the Pack Student Leadership Team and facilitates the Pack Essentials Hub Advisory Board.
While Kaleigh is still in the beginning of her service year, she has already had many valuable experiences that have made her confident in her decision to become a VISTA. She is impressed every day by the hard work of the Pack Essentials team and the dedication of student and staff volunteers. She has been energized by talking to departments on campus and members of other organizations who have enthusiastically offered support and resources to the food pantry.
Most recently the Pack Essentials Hub has been hard at work raising funds for the third annual Pantry Bowl. Through the Pantry Bowl NC State received 1,634 gifts and collectively the fundraising initiative raised over $199,000 for campus pantries in North Carolina! The number of donations received this year is a great increase from past years and will be used to keep the Pack Essentials Hub stocked providing many students with needed resources.
She has been inspired by hearing patrons’ stories about dealing with food and housing insecurity while studying, working, and caring for their families. She is thankful to be a small part of a large network of people working to ensure that every NC State student is able to thrive. She has already grown personally and professionally as a VISTA, and she is excited to see what the rest of her service year will bring. She looks forward to continuing her service year at NC State and learning what it means to be a part of the Pack.
Kaleigh is excited to use the rest of her VISTA service year to explore possible long-term career paths. She has always had an interest in service and solving the problems that impact people in their day-to-day lives. She plans to pursue graduate or law school in the coming years.
Facebook: Feed the Pack