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The past four years, teacher Melissa Taylor has inspired hundreds of Liberty North High School students to take up the fight against hunger. She began taking about 30 National Honor Society students to sort and repackage food at Harvesters’ warehouse, and the school’s efforts have grown from there.
Liberty North students play a vital role in the Stamp Out Hunger campaign when mail carriers distribute bags to residents to be filled with shelf-stable food, and then pick them up to donate to Harvesters. Before the drive for the past three years, students have prepared an astounding 20,000 donation bags, envelopes and instructions for letter carrier distribution. Melissa coordinates the Educational Internship Program, which places students interested in working with children at local elementary schools. After spending the morning at an urban core charter school, the group volunteers with Harvesters.
While studying curriculum focused on empathy, Liberty North sophomores participated in several programs to better understand the importance of community service. They completed a poverty simulation, participated in a nutrition workshop at Harvesters, then brainstormed how to increase community engagement.
Students then decided to raise awareness about childhood hunger through a letter-writing campaign to members of Congress. Melissa says their favorite activity is preparing BackSnack bags for kids at risk of hunger, and they emphasized the importance of the program in their letters.
A committed Harvesters volunteer herself, Melissa emphasizes how positive the experience has been for both her students and her family.
“The feeling of community, of working together for a common goal... It’s not just a great volunteer experience, it’s a great learning experience,” she says.
If you’re interested in volunteering, please click here.