Hunger Awareness Day is a day where the entire high school community at FA is informed and reminded about hunger around the world. We watch a video during assembly that shares a few statistics regarding the amount of people suffering from hunger right here in Long island, and throughout the world. On top of the video, the FA students experience a taste of hunger themselves. For an entire day, the bookstore is closed. Students are requested to not bring snacks, and the cafeteria serves a very simple pasta dish for lunch. Not only does this day spread awareness, but it also gets students and teachers to contribute to the fight against hunger. Following the video during assembly, advisories work together in order to make meat and cheese sandwiches to distribute to shelters throughout Long Island.
A recent study reported that right here on long island there are approximately 285,000 residents, around 110,000 of which are children, battling hunger daily. The US Department of Agriculture has reported a massive increase in hunger over the past few years. The economic recession has left many Long Islanders struggling for food.
Hunger across Long Island is a big focus of WATCH and the club is always looking for those interested in helping. Every Wednesday WATCH hosts sandwich making in the commons from 3:15 – 3:30, help making sandwiches, as well as the donation of supplies are always appreciated. The Sandwiches made on Wednesdays go the INN. The INN consists of many programs to help those struggling from hunger and homelessness across Long Island. They have soup kitchens, emergency shelters, as well as a long-term housing program. On Saturdays, in the commons at FA, there is family sandwich making activities, where students and their families are always welcome and encouraged to help out. WATCH distributes these sandwiches to Island Harvest, a non-profit food bank that distributes food to over 570 agencies.
Island Harvest is a large organization always looking for volunteers. Island Harvest volunteers have many different service opportunities, depending on the amount of time they have to contribute. The organization needs volunteers to make weekly food runs, delivering the donated food from a commercial food donor to a nearby Island Harvest agency. The organization also needs volunteers for special events, such as food shows, concerts, fairs and large food drives. Help is always appreciated, be it every day, once a week, or even once a year.
The fight to end hunger on Long Island is an arduous one, but with enough generosity on the part of the fortunate, it can be won.
To become an Island Harvest Volunteer:
Photos Courtesy of Grace Covelli ’15