Students targeting hunger during Make a Difference Day

Marietta College students and faculty are spearheading efforts to end hunger locally.

In the month of October, Marietta College students will engage in five projects within the greater Marietta community that will be focused on the issue of hunger relief.  As a part of Make a Difference Day and the College’s year-long focus on ending hunger, students and faculty are working together to raise awareness in the community about hunger-related issues while engaging in direct service to alleviated some of the growing needs.

Students are the driving force as they are planning and implementing the five projects.

“Each group wanted to be sure that they incorporated various hunger-related projects within Make a Difference Day to address the diverse set of needs related to local hunger,” said Amanda Dever, AmeriCorps VISTA. “Each project will address local hunger-related needs through different angels: the food drives will supply the local food pantries that have been struggling to keep food on the shelves while the winterizing project at the community garden will allow students to engage in direct service, preparing the local gardeners for the next harvest season while educating volunteers about the food growth process.”

The first project is “Empty Bowls,” which allows college students to work with local high school students to create ceramic bowls for an empty bowls event next semester. The students will make the bowls on Oct. 23.

The second project is a food drive taking place throughout October to benefit the Marietta Community food pantry.  The goal for the project is to raise more than 1,000 food items by the end of Make of Difference Day on Oct. 24.

The third project is the winterizing of an area community garden, benefiting the Marietta Harvest for Hope and their efforts to supply vegetables to the local food pantries. Students will complete this project on Oct. 24.

The fourth project will be another food drive and hunger education session at a local school where college students will engage in a conversation about hunger issues with the elementary school students. For this project, the students will host a hunger banquet and a canned food drive at Williamstown High School. Monday, Oct. 19 will be the kickoff date of a weeklong food drive at the school. It will begin with a banquet, where a presentation will be given to the students about not only hunger within the U.S. but worldwide. 

“The goal of this presentation is to really show the students what they will be working for and make it an emotionally altering experience,” said Sara Harp ’12, one of the student leaders.

The students will then be presented with the opportunity to bring canned goods or money into the school for the rest of the week. The English class that raises the most money/food will be presented with a prize. On Friday, Oct. 23, the MADD organizing group and the student council of the high school will deliver the money and food to the Williamstown food pantry and help sort and stock the goods.

“Through this project, we intend to do more than simply promote an excellent cause, but we also intend to raise awareness among the students about hunger and its affects worldwide,” Harp said.

The final project is a free community meal at a local church that will include youth and College student volunteers. This project will take place on Oct. 24 and will be hosted at the First Baptist Church from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend. The food is being funded by a generous grant and prepared by volunteers at the church.

“We (five Marietta students) along with the help of some local youth will be planning and implementing the project,” said Sarah Snow ’13, another group leader. “I hope to impact the community by bringing together many different people to share a common meal. One of group goals is to provide a balanced meal to those who don’t usually receive one.”

Dever added, “Above all, our goals for these projects include raising awareness in the community about hunger related issues within the area while engaging in direct service to alleviate some of the growing needs.”