Reflections on National Hunger and Homelessness Week
Giving back is not a product of me being student director of Kitchens on the Geaux (KOTG). It’s quite the contrary actually; being student director of KOTG has to do with me giving back through these kinds of projects.
I’m from Baton Rouge, and I grew up personally knowing and being friends with a lot of hungry fellow classmates. When I got to LSU, I realized the majority of the leftover food was getting thrown away. I wanted to change that.
Our efforts are not unique. These types of programs have taken place at many other schools and other students have had the same idea independent of my own.
I think giving back really means more to the community in need than anybody. I feel like we’re very fortunate to have food and shelter; we’re just trying to help out our friends that don’t.
I guess the short answer is giving back is important to me because I think helping others is the compassionate part of being a human.
The week started on Saturday, November 16 with volunteers from Kitchens On The Geaux, Volunteer LSU, and other volunteers from LSU joining our community in painting Raven’s Outreach center for homeless and disabled veterans. The following day KOTG volunteers helped feed the homeless in Expressway Park near downtown Baton Rouge. Monday kicked off with LSU students volunteering at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and forking the parade grounds with approximately 12,500 forks, each representing one homeless person in Louisiana. During the week we had a second volunteering event at the Food Bank, four volunteering events at local food pantries, five additional events at three additional homeless shelters, aid to a mobile farmers market helping in low income “food desert” areas where many people do not have access to fresh produce, a food drive hosted with the LSU Department of Political Science, daily pick-up of food donations from the Cook Hotel and Conference Center, and multiple donations from Chipotle netting a few hundred pounds of food donated to those in need. We closed off the week feeding the homeless in Expressway Park with KOTG volunteers and writer Deanna Narveson and photographer Charlotte Willcox from the Daily Reveille newspaper.
Overall I think it is safe to say we contributed a significant amount of help to our local community for National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week; I hope to continue our efforts with Kitchens On The Geaux for many more moons.
President, Kitchens on the Geaux at LSU
LSU Class of 2015
Major: Mechanical Engineering