Students feed hungry through volunteering

November 20, 2013 Latest Print Print
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Fighting hunger and feeding hope are the goals of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. To help make those goals a reality, 10 OCCC students spent Nov. 8 as a group on a service learning trip to the organization. The students worked for four hours.

The Regional Food Bank is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help fight hunger in Oklahoma. Volunteer Coordinator Kristi Youngblood works primarily with the volunteers at the Regional Food Bank.

She said volunteers are their bread and butter.

“Without our volunteers, we couldn’t do what we do,” Youngblood said. “We appreciate each and every one of them.”

The Regional Food Bank partners with more than 1,000 community pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and schools in central and western Oklahoma to help fight hunger.

One volunteer was Mariela “Carol” Robinson, a political science major and president of the OCCC Advocates of Peace club. She said volunteering is emotionally taxing but worthwhile.

“People are always saying we’re such a great country, which we are. But how can you allow children to go to sleep at night hungry?” Robinson said.

Robinson said she learned that Oklahoma is in the top five states for being “most hungry.”

She said this is mind boggling, especially since there are a lot of wealthy people in the state.

For business major Brandon Philhower the experience was new.

“This was an amazing opportunity, being my first time volunteering,” he said. “It’s fulfilling to know I’ve helped feed over 800 people in just a few hours.”

Service Learning trips are just one way students can donate their time to the community. They can find out about volunteer opportunities by going to Student Life and asking about upcoming trips.

Students who would like to volunteer with the Regional Food Bank can check the website for information at 405-972-1111. Youngblood said walk-in volunteers are welcome.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is located at 3355 S. Purdue, just north of Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

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