Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

BHC students lend hand at food bank

By Paula Vasquez

Staff Writer



In a day filled with cans of ravioli and beans, Brookhaven College students dedicated their time to help food get to those who need it most. Stacks of canned goods were loaded and unloaded by the armful at the North Texas Food Bank by Brookhaven student volunteers.

Brookhaven helped the NTFB Sept. 5 by organizing a group of volunteers to assist in moving food donations. The efforts were furthered by volunteers who assisted in feeding people unable to make the trip to the grocery store without money. The three hours evaporated quickly for the more than 70 volunteers who attended.

Their job was straightforward: move the food at the food bank to the correct areas to be shipped to various destinations. Stations were erected to help volunteers keep things going smoothly. One station of volunteers helped sort food cans by category, while volunteers at another station packed meals into boxes to be given to those in need.

Jennifer Green, NTFB volunteer service coordinator, guided Brookhaven volunteers through the food bank and taught them the impact of hunger. Green said she first realized how dire the issue of hunger was when she saw “a kid stuff spaghetti in his pocket to save it for later.” After revealing her personal story to the volunteers, the group gained a deeper understanding of the severity of the problem.

Green’s personality and anecdotes seemed to infuse the Brookhaven volunteers with their own passion for the cause. She insisted that a couple of hours could change and improve people’s lives. She said she believes that easy tasks, such as sorting, bagging and boxing food, help because “there is a face on the other end.”

Andrew Deibert, program services specialist and service-learning and civic engagement coordinator, organized the trip. He said Brookhaven tries to do the trip in September or early October every year.

Deibert said he was happy with this year’s number of volunteers. Brookhaven’s maximum number is 80 spaces, and more than 70 were filled. He said he believes the outcome was great for the NTFB and crucial to the people needing food. “Our group was able to pack close to 16,000 pounds of food during the time we were there, which translates to 13,200 meals,” Deibert said.

Deibert said the significance of volunteers working this event was immense, because NTFB relies solely on volunteers to pack and sort the donations it receives. In addition to completing the task of bagging and sorting, the hours of volunteering are used by Metrocrest Social Services as credits to purchase more food.

Sandy Gonzalez, a Brookhaven student who volunteered at the event, said the best part of volunteering was the feeling afterward. “You have a good time, meet awesome people, help others and help yourself,” she said.

Gonzalez said she volunteered because there are families, children and people who are not able to help themselves. What fuels Gonzalez’s spirit is knowing that the aid of volunteers “gives them assurance that, regardless of their struggles, there is a helping hand they are able to reach out to.”

“The mission of the Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement is to offer students and employees opportunities to engage in experiences that address human and community needs together,” Deibert said. “Hunger is a real need in North Texas, and we hope to expose people to that need to encourage them to do their part to make an impact.”

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