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OSU student groups partner to inspire elementary students to be ‘hunger heroes’
Micki Zartman Scarlet and Gray Ag Day, an educational awareness day for central Ohio elementary students hosted by Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences on April 27, partnered with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and Collegiate Young Farmers to help hungry families and inspire elementary students to be “hunger heroes.”
In addition to the annual event’s interactive and educational sessions on everything from green bean production to calf microbiology, nearly 650 visiting fourth- and fifth-grade students were encouraged to become “hunger heroes” during a session focused on helping others in need.
The “hunger heroes” session provided elementary students the opportunity to create “kid-packs” of food, which would then be donated to Mid-Ohio Foodbank to be sent to children and families in need.
“The goal for this service-based learning opportunity is to inspire students to create their own hunger-fighting campaigns in their respective communities,” said Dustin Homan, Scarlet and Gray Ag Day committee member. “Students need to not only internalize the reality of local and global hunger, which many of them have never experienced, but to also take a proactive role in being part of the solution.”
Many hands helped run the food packaging session, which was conducted by 60 Ohio State student volunteers from two organizations, Collegiate Young Farmers and Campus Crusade.
"Collegiate Young Farmers was looking for a way to support Scarlet and Gray Ag Day, and decided to commit our members to being the workforce at Scarlet and Gray Ag Day and to organize a food drive on campus, during which we collected more than 1,500 food items to be used in the kid-packs," said Mike Hannewald, president of Collegiate Young Farmers and a Scarlet and Gray Ag Day committee member.
Mid-Ohio Foodbank representatives were also on site to assist with the food packaging session. They worked with Scarlet and Gray Ag Day committee members to educate the students about volunteering and described how the food will be distributed to those in need. “Mid-Ohio Foodbank provided a lot of the logistics information of how to package the kid-packs, what goes into each pack and what items they especially need,” Hannewald said, adding that there was enough food from the event to create at least 650 kid packs, with leftovers also being donated.
Scarlet and Gray Ag Day received donations for the day’s activities and the food drive, including $2,000 from the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation and $250 from Campus Crusade. Additional food donations and monetary support came from Glory Foods, Kroger, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, The Andersons, Inc. and Dublin Baptist Church.
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Read other stories about projects that received Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation grants