Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2017 – Food For Thought

Name: Zachary Jones
From: Sheridan, AR
Grade: College Sophomore
School: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Votes: 0

Hunger in the United States is on the rise, many of us may know
someone who is or was impacted by hunger, and there are those, like
myself, who have experienced what hunger is like, what it is like to
not know where your next meal will come from. One in Seven children
in the United States live in a food insecure home, in my home state
of Arkansas that number is one in four, it is my firm belief that if
we pitch in we can help in the fight against hunger. Starting my
junior year in high school I began volunteering at a food pantry in
my home town, it was only a few day a week but in those days I saw
that it was not just my family that were struggling to find food.
Since my junior year I have committed to doing at least forty hours
of service a year and I have both met and exceed that goal, I have
done more than 500 hours of community service in my hometown and in
cities around the nation. I have worked in food banks in Arkansas
and Louisiana, community gardens in Illinois and New York, and I have
delivered food to shelters in Alabama, Florida, and South Dakota.
For me the biggest challenge was not being able to help more often
than I have been, my family has been able to get out of the situation
the situation of facing hunger by getting new jobs but that also
means that we have less time to volunteer. During my time
volunteering I found that seeing the smile and gratefulness of the
people that I was helping to be the most rewarding thing, I was
helping them and their families in a way that many people may not
understand. I am majoring in communication at my university and part
of our curriculum is to go out and volunteer in the community and
that is one of the reasons that I chose this major, because it
allowed the students to see what others need and think of ways that
we can improve the situations. Through my communications I hope to
one day inspire people that there are issues in the world that can be
stopped or slowed through just doing a few hours of community service
a month. Through my volunteer journey I found several things to be
true, the main thing however is that we are all people, and
regardless of our situation we have a capacity for kindness and
compassion that may surprise some. We are all going through this
journey called life together and by helping our fellow human we can
help to better our today and our tomorrow.

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".