I am Crawford Lee, a junior at Trion High School in Trion, GA where I am active in my school and community. I have been involved in school sports since I was in sixth grade. Wrestling is where I am most competitive. My team is State Dual Champions and I placed 5th in the Individual State Tournament as a sophomore. I am an All-American Wrestler, placing 4th in the NUWAY National Tournament in June 2021. I was recognized by the National High School Coaches Association as an Academic All-American. I am on the football team where I serve my team on both offense and defense and help lead summer football camps for youth.
I have been a part of Helping Hands Ending Hunger since it began in my school. Since middle school I have been a volunteer involved in rescuing food from our cafeteria, packing milk and food bags and distributing food to students and their families on Fridays. Because of my work with Helping Hands, it came to my attention that some of the same students who were getting food were also on my sports teams. I noticed when we went to away games and tournaments those students didn’t have food or money to buy food. My parents sent extra money to buy food for my teammates in need, but that was only helping a small fraction of student athletes. Students were expected to compete all day with little to no food. That was a big problem!
That is when I came up with the idea for Snackletics. I helped develop this program as an off-shoot of Helping Hands Ending Hunger to send snacks to away games, events and functions for high school sports teams, bands and clubs. Coaches also make use of milks that may not be distributed through Helping Hands to nourish their athletes with essential protein, ensuring nothing is wasted.
I work at my school in the summers as assistant to our technology administrator. I teach Children’s Church to children ages 5-10 at Harvest Worship Center and I volunteer in the sound booth with community youth theater. The opportunity to serve as a docent for a Smithsonian exhibit was a wonderful experience. I was inducted by National Society of High School Scholars and was nominated by College Board for national recognition. My goal is to attend Virginia Tech as a cadet and major in engineering. Following college, I plan to commission in the Army where I will use my degree in the field of combat engineering.
Hear Cathy’s inspiring journey with K-12 Food Rescue partner Helping Hands Ending Hunger. In this episode, Cathy discusses how many participating schools continued their food rescue programs during Covid 19.
My name is Sophie Harward, and I am the student founder of Helping Hands Ending Hunger. The idea for the program started 3 years ago when my Mom told me that a couple of kids in my elementary school had come to school on Monday without eating any food over the weekend after their parents had been seen digging through the dumpster after a Friday night football game. Because she was a parent volunteer at my school, teachers asked her to help put together a food basket for these children. It dawned on me that there was a lot of uneaten food in the school cafeteria during each breakfast and lunch. My idea was that food could be used to feed this family and any others that needed food to eat over the weekends and school breaks.
However, I also had heard teachers complain that they had try to collect uneaten food from the school cafeteria to send home with needy students and had been told by officials they couldn’t do it. My Mom is a retired lawyer, and I knew she could help convince officials that throwing perfectly good food away was not better than feeding children who needed food. After a lot of time and effort talking with numerous officials in the state of Georgia, Helping Hands was given the green light to proceed. We started with a pilot at my school in my hometown of Trion, Georgia and now are operating in schools around the state.
Our mission is to empower students to repurpose unopened food from school cafeterias and join hands with their communities to feed hungry families. While we focus our efforts on schools in Georgia now, we hope to expand our program to schools nationwide in the near future. In doing so, we hope to be a leader in the effort to alleviate childhood food insecurity, reduce food waste, promote education equity and ultimately shape a better world.