Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Growing by Feeding the Hungry

Name: Cooper Howard
From: Covington, Kentucky
Grade: 12
School: Calvary Christian School
Votes: 60

Growing By Feeding the Hungry


Cooper Howard

I woke up early one summer day with my dad rushing me out the door.
He and my mom said it was time for me to start helping those who were
less fortunate than me, but as a freshman in high school all I wanted
to do was sleep until lunchtime and play video games. As we were
heading to a food pantry in a nearby neighborhood, I was dreading
what was ahead of me. I felt like I was trapped and forced into this

I arrived around 7:30 in the morning, and I was immediately put to
work. Although I did not really want to help, I did what I was told
and did it to the best of my ability while keeping a smile on my
face. As the day went on I helped resupply and restock their
provisions, re-bag some vegetables for smaller portions, and moved
frozen meet into new freezers and out onto the serving line.

Then people started to arrive. They looked exhausted. As soon as I saw
them, I knew that this food pantry was doing a good thing. As people
were going through the line, I helped by carrying their bags. It was
not a hard job, but it kept me busy. We worked for about three hours
until everybody had gone through the line. Then everyone started to
say goodbye. My dad’s friend, Gary, who also helped to manage the
food pantry, wanted to take me out to lunch with the rest of the
workers. We went to a local, favorite restaurant. While I was sitting
at lunch, I realized serving hungry people was something that I
needed to do. I was excited to return the next week.

Since then I’ve tried to serve at the food pantry whenever possible. By
learning through independent study during my junior year of high
school, I was able to arrange my schedule to that I could spend every
Wednesday morning volunteering with the food pantry. Soon I took on
more responsibilities, and the other volunteers began to treat me
like a leader. I attended to the needs of the patrons and helped to
complete all the tasks necessary to close for the day like
rearranging the frozen items, restocking the frozen meat on the
serving line, and assisting the manager.

I began serving at the food pantry during my freshman year in high
school, and now in my senior year, I continue to volunteer whenever
possible. I plan to volunteer every Wednesday during the summer after
I graduate. Looking back, I understand that helping to provide food
for hungry people was something I needed to do. Serving at the food
pantry shaped me into a better and more understanding person.

As I prepare for the future, I am certain that I will be serving those
in need either as volunteer or as a career. I want to help end
hunger, first in my neighborhood and then around the world.

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