College Class to Help Feed the Hungry

It was Helen Keller who said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” I recently used that great quote while speaking to a class at the College of Mount St. Joseph (MSJ).

The students there are going to help fight global hunger by playing FreeRice and walking Charity Miles as part of their Cincinnati Authors course. Ashley Eilers of the MSJ school paper reports on this service learning set up by Professor Jeff Hillard.

With FreeRice the students will be raising donations for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the largest agency fighting hunger. The FreeRice donations will feed children in Niger, a country that suffered a severe drought and near famine last year. With Charity Miles, the free cell phone app that generates donations when you exercise, the students will help both WFP and Feeding America.

The Mount’s Leadership Pathways program had a FreeRice event earlier this year. It was a student in last year’s Cincinnati Authors class, Elizabeth Paff, whose enthusiasm put this plan in motion.

Paff did not have a cell phone with internet connectivity so she was unable to download and use the Charity Miles app. That did not stop her, though. She did her own form of Charity Miles, running and fundraising for Plumpy’nut to feed malnourished children. Since October we have raised donations for over 1,300 meals for Feeding America, the World Food Programme, and Edesia through our combined Charity Miles program.

Last week I ran to the Anderson Ferry Food Pantry in Delhi, Ohio. It’s part of the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank’s network of agencies fighting hunger in the area. The Pantry is short on donations while they have seen an increase in demand, a familiar scene across the country, with over 50 million Americans food-insecure.

A walk or run to your local food pantry, using Charity Miles, might be a good way to raise money and find out what is happening with hunger in your community. If there is a food shop nearby you might be able to finish your run there and purchase some supplies for the pantry as well.

Sherrie Kleinholz, a great advocate for the homeless, and I teamed up for a food drive last summer that benefited the Anderson Ferry Pantry as well as Our Daily Bread, and the Care Barrel at Our Lady of Victory Church. The food drive was in honor of my mother who passed away from cancer. One of the donors was scheduled shortly for surgery but still took the time to gather food and leave it out for pickup. Kleinholz also spoke to the Cincinnati Authors class prior to my presentation.

Feeding America is encouraging everyone to get involved in the Together We Can Solve Hunger campaign. The best ideas to help fight hunger are the ones you adapt or create on your own. So get involved as soon as you can.

Article first published as College Class to Help Feed the Hungry on Blogcritics.

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