For the past two years, THE LEARNING CORPS has led the way in feeding hungry people in Kentucky. In 2006, through the leadership of AmeriCorps members serving with THE LEARNING CORPS, over 165,000 ounces of food was donated during food drives the two weeks prior to Make a Difference Day. During this community service effort, 436,306 ounces of food was donated by all entities in Kentucky. Therefore, food donated through THE LEARNING CORPS made up 68% of the food donated across Kentucky.
Additionally, schools that could not participate in the scheduled Make a Difference Day food drive held food drives at a later date and donated 25,000 more ounces of food.
AmeriCorps members serving with THE LEARNING CORPS led the way in the schools where they serve to teach students the necessity of taking care of those who need food in their communities. The food was distributed to community food banks, church food pantries, Family Resource Centers, groups that provide Thanksgiving baskets and to families who had recently lost their homes to tornado damage.
According to data collected by the Annie B. Casey Foundation, in 2006 almost 49% of students in the five counties where members of THE LEARNING CORPS serve receive free/reduced lunches. The need for this food drive on a yearly basis is enormous. Many volunteers were engaged, as food had to be counted and moved to each food bank. Students learned the about citizens in their community who did not have enough to eat. At one school particularly, students donated over 53,000 ounces of food. Principals from each county were pleased that food banks in their counties were well stocked for the upcoming holiday season and beyond.
While they may never know the impact on all the recipients of the food, they can realize the impact it has within their communities. It teaches us all that serving your fellow man when he/she is in need is, well, just the right thing to do. AmeriCorps members saw their schools come together for a common cause and rise to the occasion of hunger within their communities.