Student Life

Food Insecurity Event

At 6PM on Wednesday, November 15th, a group of Leonia High School clubs hosted the first annual Food Insecurity Event to spread community awareness about this issue. The event was co-sponsored by the Service Club, JSA, Rho Kappa, the Humanities Academy, and the National Honor Society. Attendees were asked to bring in a donation of non-perishable food items and were able to earn extra credit in their history classes.

The guest speaker for the night was Ms. Jeanne Fournier, the Vice President of Programs and Services the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, who has strong personal ties to Leonia High School. In her detailed presentation, Ms. Fournier defined food insecurity as “the consistent lack of food to have a healthy life because of your economic situation.”

Families and individuals facing food insecurity exist in all different neighbors in the USA. In her presentation, Ms. Fournier drew attention to the fact that as a result of food insecurity, “Parents skip meals to feed their children, seniors choose between buying medicine and food, and students decide between their education and food.”

The Community food Bank of New Jersey is part of the Feeding America network of food banks, and as such can reach out to many people across the state. Currently, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey operates in 15 out of New Jersey’s 21 counties, distributing aide through their locations in Egg Harbor in the Southern part of the state and Hillside in the Northern section.

Of special note is the Community Food Bank’s “variety of innovative programs dedicated to educating children, teens, and young adults about hunger and poverty.” These programs encourage young people to get involved in shaping the world in a meaningful way, and include Teen Leadership Programs and the Teen Hunger Summit.

According to Lemon Akhtar ’24, who attended the event and helped out with the food collection, the clubs involved ran tables signing people into the event, assigning minga points, making exit tickets, and organizing the food collection into different categories.

Ms. Kelty says sophomores in Conversations in Humanities II are in the process of seeking board support for a proposal to Trenton to advocate for free lunch and breakfast for all students in New Jersey regardless of socioeconomic status.

The event was well-attended and students are looking forward to more events focused on community service in the future.