Atlanta Community Food Bank and Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta Contemporary) came together last week to conduct an inaugural art-themed session of the Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty. The result of months of collaboration and planning, the week-long program hosted at Atlanta Contemporary brought together 12 exceptional Atlanta high school students who dedicated a week out of their summer to provide service in the community and enhance their education about hunger, poverty, and learn about social practice art and artists.
Ellie is a senior at North Cobb High School in Kennesaw who attended the June 2014 session of the Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty held at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Over the course of the Summit, Ellie and 19 other teens learned how hunger and poverty impacts their community through educational sessions and activities; they also served the community by volunteering at a community garden, mobile food pantry, and ACFB’s Product Rescue Center. Each student made a commitment to complete a Hunger Fighting Action Step during the next school year.
Jada participated in the July session of the 2013 Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty. She found herself impacted greatly by the Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) volunteer experience. Along with the other Youth Summit participants and community volunteers, Jada helped distribute food to over 300 families at Collins Memorial United Methodist Church. She noted that many of the clients did not have good quality bags to carry their food. Jada decided to use her Hunger Fighting Action Step to attack the need. Her goal was to collect 500 reusable bags to be donated to ACFB to use at a MFP.
One of the things we love most about summer at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) is the Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty. High schoolers from around our service area come together to learn more about these issues and, by the end of the week that they’ve spent with us, they go back to their communities armed with the knowledge and drive to make a difference.
We are excited to announce the return of the Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty. This year, we will have two 5-day sessions for rising 9th – 12th graders. The first session will run from June 9 – 13th and the second session from July 7 – 11th.
Students who participate in the Youth Summit will gain valuable knowledge about hunger and poverty, volunteer in the community, and make new friends with a diverse group of students. Students are also required to commit to a Hunger Fighting Action Step to be completed the next school year.
Tri-Cities High School Visual Art Magnet Program presents “The Faces of Hunger” Opening Reception on February 6th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Held in the Tri-Cities High School Art Gallery, the exhibit features the students’ interpretation of hunger in their community as 2D and 3D art, jewelry and ceramic pieces. Refreshments will be served as will light appetizers provided by Sufi’s Atlanta.
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.
Last week, we hosted 18 high school students from across the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s service area for the summer’s first Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty. Through interactive and hands-on experiences, the annual four-day summit educates teens about hunger and poverty issues in Georgia and our nation.
A couple weeks ago, I received an email from Saqlain, who participated in the June 2012 Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty. He expressed his desire to volunteer at one of our Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) distributions. The Food Bank is currently doing seven MFPs a week, so I conferred with Christine, the Agency Services staff member leading the MFP charge. She recommended a MFP taking place Saturday afternoon on January 26th in Dekalb County.
Selena, who participated in the 2012 Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty, meets with our Education and Outreach Manager, Lindy Wood, to discuss plans for her Girl Scouts’ Gold Award project; the project will focus on hunger in her community. Selena has also launched a club at her school, Druid Hills High School, focusing on community service and hunger and poverty issues. We’re very proud of Selena and are excited to support her amazing work.
-Chris Ferguson, Education and Outreach Coordinator
Our second round of Youth Summit kicked off this week with a new group of teens from metro Atlanta. In the video below, a group volunteered their reflections of their second day. They visited the State Capitol and met with Jennifer Owens, the advocacy director of Georgia Organics and learned about advocacy in their own backyard. After a whirlwind tour, they met with Georgia Minority House Leader Rep. Stacey Abrams and participated in an exercise to either pass or strike down "HB-1": the ban of peanuts in school systems.
This week, we hosted 18 students from across metro Atlanta for our annual Youth Summit. In three whirlwind days, these high schoolers toured the Food Bank, learned about hunger and advocacy in Georgia, played a Community Food Game (which is a LOT of fun), visited the State Capitol, packed food boxes in our warehouse and volunteered at two agencies we serve, Georgia Avenue and Gateway Center. Phew. You can see why I said whirlwind before!