Students in Professor Laurie Giles’ Advocacy class started a campaign called “Buddy Bags” which aims to fight against food insecurity in the local community.
Once a month, Buddy Bags will bring reusable, recyclable bags that contain food to the students of Snug Harbor Elementary school in attempt to provide a few “certain” meals on weekends and school vacations.
Children suffer from food insecurity even though there are more opportunities for children to receive free meals. According to Feeding America, Massachusetts’ Norfolk County had a food insecurity rate of 11.2% in 2012, with 43% of the 16,890 kids in the county receiving free breakfast and lunch.
After watching a documentary on childhood hunger the advocacy class became more informed about food insecurity, as well as the anxiety over meal irregularity that occurs at Snug Harbor Elementary School in Germantown. The class was moved by the issue and decided to take action. Buddy Bags is motivated to supplement the meals that children would get on a normal school day during times school is not in session.
On March 30th, “Buddy Bags” is holding a fundraiser, “Dinner and Dessert” where shuttles will take students to Chipotle and Ben & Jerry’s in and near the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Mass. A portion of the profit from these restaurants will go towards Buddy Bags. There will also be an event in April where students get free Chick-Fil-A in exchange for designing a bag for their “buddies,” or students from Snug Harbor.
For a few students of the Advocacy Class, such as senior Carla Matos, this was a chance to take action on an issue that is personally familiar to her.
“This has always been an issue that hit close to home for me because I’ve known about food insecurity my whole life. When I was very young, my family [and I] went through difficult times,” Matos shared, “What always got me was that the families who only had a little more, would always pitch in and help.”
Junior Elise Moran highlighted that working to help child hunger is an issue that the Christian community should help.
“I feel like it’s our job to do a reach out project, and it’s what a Christian community is supposed to do. I really hope that this is something that continues and that we can get as many students involved as possible,” Moran said.