Sarah, a current senior at South Forsyth High School, attended the 2014 Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Like all Youth Summit attendees, Sarah made a commitment to plan and complete a Hunger Fighting Action Step during the year following her participation with the Youth Summit. She decided to collect healthy snacks for kids for ACFB partner agency Meals by Grace. Even before the end of summer, she collected and donated over 750 snack servings from a neighborhood food drive.
I recently caught up with Sarah for an update on her Action Step. - Chris, ACFB Education and Outreach Coordinator
Chris: Can you give me an update on any further collections and donations?
Sarah: In October, I did another collection with the South Forsyth Beta Club. We collected over 700 snack servings which will be distributed to over 25 families during the holiday break.
Suellen Daniels, who started Meals by Grace, mentioned to me that the healthy snacks have allowed children in the elementary school to have something to eat at snack time. Before, the kids would sit and watch the other kids have snacks while they had nothing to eat themselves.
C: Where are the donations coming from (friends, neighbors, etc.)?
S: They were donated generously by families, friends, neighbors and high school students. The first food drive was conducted within one neighborhood. The second food drive was conducted by the South Forsyth Beta Club, a service club at school.
C: Why did you decide to collect healthy snacks for Meals by Grace as your Action Step?
S: After college, I hope to work in the food industry, developing healthy food that can be more readily available to those on a tight income. Every person deserves to be able to provide nourishing food to themselves and their family. Meals by Grace helps provide meals weekly to families with children on free or reduced lunch. On a tight budget, the families are more likely to spend money on food that is cheaper and higher in calories, which tends to rule out healthy snack choices. By conducting the snack drives, families are now provided with healthy snacks to eat.
C: What are some examples of your favorite healthy snacks you've collected?
S: The healthy snack drives have collected lots of Nature Valley Granola Bars, something I actually eat daily for a snack. The granola bars are high in whole grain oats and are filling. To be able to give someone a snack with high nutrition as opposed to a bag of potato chips is great.
In addition, we collected many applesauce cups, which is a great snack to give to the children who are unable to eat fresh fruit as much as I can.
In addition to all of this amazing work, Sarah also applied for a Sodexo grant for Meals by Grace and recently found out that she will be awarded a $400 grant to help the organization. She will use it to improve organization of the fridge and freezer system at Meals by Grace.
We’re incredibly proud of Sarah and all of the work that she has done for her Youth Summit Action Step!