COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — September is Hunger Action Month, a chance for all of us to recognize we have a role in helping end hunger.
At the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, it takes volunteers young and old, and groups big and small to keep their operation going. NBC4 anchor Matt Barnes caught up with a group of volunteers from Ohio Wesleyan University doing their part to help our neighbors in need.
It’s another busy morning at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, led by volunteers, with food coming in and food going out.
“We need over 1,000 volunteers every single week to fully meet our operations in our goal of helping feed our neighbors and address those root causes of hunger,” said Mike Hochron of Mid-Ohio Food Collective.
On this morning, those volunteers are from Ohio Wesleyan University. All of them are first-year students in their first week of school. And before they get lessons in the classroom, they are getting a lesson on how they can make a difference.
“This is an opportunity for them to build community with each other, but also to see a little bit of the surrounding environment and be able to build community with a broader area,” said Matt Vandenberg, OWU President. “And to learn about some of the problems and challenges that we face in that area. And to get a sense of what they can do to be a part of the solution.”
“Everybody needs help at some point and to be able to help them or to put in the work to help them, it gives you a sense of pride and it just makes you happy,” said freshman Jocelyn Edens.
OWU freshman Aliyana Badger is from Texas. She’s new to Ohio but she knows food insecurity is nothing new.
“It’s everywhere and I know for people that are privileged, like you and me, we just don’t see it,” said Badger. “And then we go to places like these or all around, we get to get a glimpse of how it actually is.”
The work truly never ends here — and the hope is these students will not only come back to help, but do their part to bring awareness to fighting hunger wherever they may be.
“This Hunger Action Month, we’re making sure everyone knows they have a role in helping to end hunger,” said Hochron. “Some people write a check and of course, we need that support. But just as important are people who can give their time, their energy, their passion and their voice to helping us fight hunger.”
And the collective wants to emphasize you don’t need a group as big as the freshman class of Ohio Wesleyan to make a difference. You can bring a much smaller group, or just yourself, and help them out. Just visit their website for more information on how you can volunteer.