8:09 a.m., April 19, 2010----The Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) recently teamed up with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Delaware to help fight hunger and raise money for children in Haiti.
On April 7, the organizations held the event Campaign Against World Hunger, in which students learned more about malnutrition and hunger and how those factors can affect a child's education.
Molly Baker, a junior in the Elementary Teacher Education program and service coordinator for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, shared her experiences of witnessing hunger abroad and here in the United States. Baker has volunteered twice in Capricorn, South Africa, where she was involved with home construction, a homeless ministry and after-school programs. Closer to home, Baker spends her summers working at a children's camp in North Philadelphia.
Baker shared stories about children she met in both locations who struggle daily with hunger and stressed that hunger isn't only far away. She urged students to become more informed about the issue and strive to make a difference in their communities.
"I hope that people see we all have a role to respond to world hunger," said Baker. "We can all make a difference."
The event also featured two School of Education faculty guest speakers. Prof. Bob Hampel discussed the evolution of the school lunch and why nutrition has not always been the main focus of the meals. Tanya Bartell, assistant professor, explained what role food insecurity and hunger plays in a classroom at school. She pointed out that when a child is lacking nutrition or skipping meals, it can impact how the child learns.
As part of the effort to raise money for children in Haiti, people who attended the event also had the opportunity to buy children's books, which were donated by the Kennett Square Resale Bookshop. Students were encouraged to write messages inside the book covers. Those books will be sent to Haiti for children there to read them.
"I hope that when they open the book, they realize that someone here in the United States is thinking of them," said Emily Edmonds, president of SCEC. "Maybe that will make their day a little bit brighter."
The event was part of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's week-long Justice Week: Campaign Against Hunger effort, held in cooperation with other student groups on campus. The organization held a variety of events related to hunger awareness from April 5-9.
Article and photos by Cassandra Kramer