Have you ever noticed how many organizations ask for donations during the winter months? Organizations, such as Feed My Starving Children, the Salvation Army, and even local churches will ask for generous donations to help send gifts and meals to people locally and nationally during the months of freezing winter. But what happens during the summer months? Who helps keep people’s plates full?

It is no secret that most of the world lives in poverty. A main issue that accompanies poverty is a lack of food. Poverty and a lack of food can lead to malnutrition and starvation. Malnutrition and starvation do not only occur in third world countries, but also in small towns across America, even in our beloved town of Hope.

This past November, Mrs. Dickerson, an agriculture teacher at Hauser Jr./Sr. High School, and I decided that we wanted to make a Thanksgiving meal accessible to people in our town.

Later on, while reflecting, we realized how many organizations provide free meals from Thanksgiving to Christmas. However, the lack of assistance during the other months might leave people to go hungry the rest of the year. This inspired us to create Comfort Foods. Comfort Foods is a non-profit organization, sponsored by our Hope FFA Chapter, that creates frozen meals to give to anyone in need in the community. Mrs. Dickerson is in charge of collecting meal requests and distributing the meals.

My food science course at Hauser, along with other family and consumer science courses at our school, provides opportunities for students to carefully prepare the meals and make a positive impact in the greater community. I was fortunate enough to contribute to the organization’s name and help prepare the meals this year.

Meals can be specifically chosen, or families can request the first available hot meal. So far, we prepared anything from breakfast foods to dinner foods. My group was in charge of making delicious homemade lasagna, twice-baked potatoes, and even ravioli. All meals come with a side, such as salad or a type of bread. Overall, the meals are baked carefully and filled with love. All requests for meals are anonymous and students have no knowledge of who placed the order.

This idea and this organization will continue to tremendously benefit the community in the future. By baking meals for others in our town, students will become more involved in the community. Simultaneously, people will no longer need to worry about feeding their family throughout the forgotten months of the year.

Comfort Foods could save a child from going to bed hungry. While we love our school and our community, there are still many students at Hauser that are unable to consume nutritional meals outside of school. As a result, many of these students typically munch on junk food that does not help their bodies grow properly. However, this student-run program, that reaches out into the greater community, will plant hope in the bellies of families and perpetuate support throughout our small town.