NEO honors students & food service fight hunger

NEO honors students & food service fight hunger
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Sodexo and students present checks for Brightt Futures back pack food.

Two checks brought a funding boost to the Miami Bright Futures back pack program. NEO ‘ S food service provider, sodexo, presented a check for one thousand dollars to the Bright Futures president and superintendent of schools.It’s a grant from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation.

At the same luncheon Honors Program Psychology students presented their own check for 325 dollars. It will be divided among churches that have adopted local schools for them to purchase foods. 250 kids take those home each weekend in back packs. Brigh Futures president Kristi McClain said, ” Those types of items that are easy for kids to open so they won ‘ t or shouldn ‘ t require a can opener. Anything like that. They’re ‘ e individually packaged so the kids won ‘ t have to worry about sealing them back up after they ‘ ve eaten whatever they want out of it. Individually packaged items are best. ”
Fund raising by honors program students included ice cream and bake sales, and 50/50 raffles.

For the students the donation was part of a bigger service learning project. They also opened a food pantry for fellow college students.

Like Elijah Chery, a freshman wrestler at NEO who is a regular at the Wesley student center for meals and more.
Chery said, “It means a lot to me honestly. Growing up, I didn ‘ t have a lot of food where you can just eat everything. It means a lot when people are giving back.”

So Chery is doubly glad fellow students have created a food pantry at the center. He said, “I think it ‘ s a wonderful idea. It ‘ s gonna help the community, support them. Really great idea.”

Wesley Center director Donni Long said there are lots of students in need. She serves meals at the center twice a week for up to 35 college kids. Long said, “We have students at NEO who came to us that were homeless.

Honors psychology students collected the non-perishable foods as part of a service learning project . Trinity Pruitt, a freshman, helped create and put up posters, collected donations and brought them to the pantry. She said, ” Some of the people here, people I know, don ‘ t have jobs. They can ‘ t afford their own food and most times they don ‘ t have meal plans. ”

And she’s learned that hunger can have both a physical and psychological impact. Pruitt said, “Severe hunger actually, uh, lessens the development in your brain and causes it not to develop like it should. It also causes emotional distress within the person and behavioral problems.”

Pantry collections have been been so successful they ‘ ve filled shelves donated by Osborne pharmacy so they ‘ re ready to assemble another .
Freshman Emily Norris added, “We collected one thousand 130 dollars worth of food, canned, boxed goods things students can have on campus.

And they ‘ re things Elijah picked up in the past from the Wesley Center pantry. ” am the person that brings all the food back to my dorm, ” he said. Where he does say he shares it with other hungry students.

The student food pantry is available in the Wesley center Monday through Thursday from 9 am to noon, or by appointment with
Donni Long. You can reach her at 918-540-6351 or donni.long@neo.edu.

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