Last week, we held the second of two Youth Summit programs of the summer. A group of 17 students, each from different counties in Georgia, gathered to learn and witness the reality of hunger, and to come up with ideas to help fight it. As they got to know one another, a bond was formed and they really came together to serve the community.
From pulling weeds in the garden to volunteering at a mobile food pantry, the high schoolers got a first hand look at the services the Food Bank provides the community and the many ways volunteers can help. Along with volunteer work, the students also participated in a game where they were forced to survive on little to no money and limited resources. This activity gave insight to how difficult it was to reach 2,000 nutritious calories in one day.
As the week progressed, not only were they learning about hunger, but each individual came up with a way to raise awareness and take action against hunger in their own communities.
Three of the students were interviewed about their week here at the Youth Summit and their Action Plans for how they’ll educate their family and friends:
De’Jah is an upcoming freshman who plans on studying either Pre-Law or Pre-Med. When she gets back to school, she wants to start a dance competition where the admission fee would be donated to the Food Bank.
Denesia, a rising junior, plans on studying Graphic Design and Architectural Engineering and is inspired by her dad who was also an artist. She plans on hosting a hunger-themed art show to raise awareness for the students.
Foster, also a rising junior, wants to study Music Performance or Composition. He wants to start a community garden at his school, so that when it gets big enough, it will eventually be the source of food in the cafeteria.
While the program only lasts a few days, the students’ efforts make an impact on the community. Now, armed with a better understanding of the issue of hunger and their hands-on experience helping the Food Bank and its partner agencies at the Youth Summit, they are ready to go back to their high schools and make an impact on their own communities.