Middle school can be an unforgiving time for young people, but one group of students at St. Francis Episcopal Day School in Texas are using their middle school years to fight global hunger. Under the direction of faculty Debbie Harris, the St. Francis Wolves Against Hunger are making a global difference. The group consists of 7 eighth grade students. They participated in the World Hunger Leadership Challenge, an initiative founded by Lead2Feed with the purpose of promoting leadership among middle school students in the fight against world hunger.  It is important to develop future leaders and foster a spirit of giving back to the community especially during the tough middle school years.

The St. Francis Episcopal Day School was awarded a $25,000 check from the Yum! Brand Foundation for the work the Wolves Against Hunger did in the World Hunger Leadership Challenge.  More than 300,000 students participated from over 1,500 schools and the Yum! Foundation provided close to $250,000 in prize money grants to 140 schools. The grants will support US public charities engaged in hunger relief. The recognition ceremony was shared with another student group located in Utaar Pradesh, India. The students from St. Francis have been in close contact with the students from K.L. International (KLI) in Utaar Pradesh over the last two semesters.  The St. Francis students packed 5,100 sack lunches, collected more than 6,500 cans of food, and packed boxes at a local food back. The KLI students volunteered time at a local orphanage run by Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity as well as created Project 365 in which at least one hungry person is fed every day of the year.

Harris had heard about the World Hunger Leadership Challenge and entered her students in the hopes of gaining them some recognition for all their hard work. She noted the students participated in events on the weekends in addition to school activities. The program began when Harris organized a campaign for World Water Day in 2012 and came in contact with Jasdeep Lamba, whose father-in-law runs KLI School. They worked together to get a Skype discussion scheduled between the students and faculty of the two schools. The next school year, they arranged for six Skype forums to be held. The forums gave the US students a greater appreciation for hunger and poverty as well as motivated both groups of students to get more involved in their respective communities.

The award money won by St. Francis will be donated to Kids’ Meals Houston, a charity working to feed children under 5. The work done by the KLI students will benefit The Earth Saviours Foundation, a local charity in New Delhi, India.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: Indo American News