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Sixth grade is challenging for most kids. It marks the start of middle school. Everything changes…your skin, your height, your classes…but, one thing never changes: lunch. After my mom started working at Rise Against Hunger in 2014, I realized that there was more to lunch than I knew. Not all kids have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to look forward to.

The author, Cole, volunteers at the 2018 MLK Day Meal Packaging Event.

For seven months, I attempted to change that. With the support of many good people and businesses, from April to November 2015, I raised $30,000 to engage over 400 volunteers to package 100,008 meals. It was a difficult journey. I wanted to give up but I couldn’t let the kids who were waiting for lunch down.

After those eight hours of hosting and serving, I was exhausted. I may not have ended world hunger, but I certainly wanted to put a dent in it.

In attendance that event day was one of my teachers, Ashley Gavio. She was inspired and knew that my efforts to duplicate this at our school could only be accomplished if she and Principal Dan Horan lead the way.

For the next year, she asked for donations and planned for MLK Day 2017. I felt overwhelmed by the idea that my feelings in sixth grade of hungry children were being shared by my peers. We had an amazing day.

This year, Haverford Middle School has done it again! Even though I am in high school now, I went back to my stomping grounds and took part in the impact it will deliver.

This time, I was a Rise Against Hunger “staff” member. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it well when he announced, “Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the necessities of life? There is no deficit in human resources. The deficit is in human will.”

If we put our heads together and put others first, this is possible.

Shared in Blog, Growing the Movement