Learning to Serve: Students fill food bags to help the hungry

Ciara+Colston%2C+Kaydance+Barnett%2C+Ireona+Hart%2C+Brooklyn+Barfield+and+Janiyia+Armstrong+fill+bags+of+food.

Anna Dyess

Ciara Colston, Kaydance Barnett, Ireona Hart, Brooklyn Barfield and Janiyia Armstrong fill bags of food.

Mercedes Erickson

On Jan. 13, RHS FFA gave students and staff the opportunity to take part in a service project to help Kids Against Hunger. The students were called out by grade level and their last name to report to the old gym to fill bags of food.

“It was an exciting experience!” senior Paydon Isayev said. “The fact that it was a surprise, that they didn’t tell you ahead of time. It felt good helping other people.”

The first step in the three-step process was to suit up.  Students put on a hairnet, gloves, and a face mask for basic germ prevention. Then they funneled food into bags.

To do this, someone would put one level scoop of vitamin and mineral powder into the bag. Then someone else would put a slightly rounded spoonful of dried veggies, a level cup of soy, and then one rounded cup of rice which were added individually. The final step was to get all of the air out of the bags and seal them. After that, students packed them so that they would be ready to ship. Rusk packaged up over 11,340 meals by the end of the day.

“It makes me feel accomplished,” senior Ally Kozlovsky said. “A girl from small town America made a little bit of difference in the world.”

Kids Against Hunger is a nonprofit organization with a mission to radically reduce the number of starving children in America and to feed kids all over the world. Just in Texas alone, 1 in every 5 children experience serious hunger every day. The bags Rusk students packed will be sent to help neighbors at the Mexican border.

The experience affecs many Rusk students who have participated in the event over the years.

“It reminds me of a couple of years ago when a student remarked ‘I’ll never say that I’m  hungry again,'” FFA sponsor Brian Martin said.

According to the USDA website, food insecurity in America is not exclusively a lack of access to food. Food insecurity can also lead to a households need to trade off important basic needs, such as utility bills, in order to purchase nutritionally adequate foods.