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Food for Thought Unites Students in Serving Children Suffering from Hunger

Written by Elizabeth Stoltz '13
9/22/2012

Elizabeth Stoltz '13

It’s strange that my inspiration to fight hunger started while flipping through CosmoGirl, an unlikely source for information on social activism.

However, what I unearthed in its pages inspired me so deeply that I couldn’t let it pass. In her opening editorial note, the magazine’s editor encouraged readers to serve on a humanitarian trip to Africa. Though I ultimately couldn’t go on the trip, my desire to educate myself about this type of work deepened.

After countless hours researching social action projects, I learned about Plumpy’nut, a peanut-based therapeutic food that nourishes children suffering from starvation. What my research couldn’t reveal was that Plumpy’nut would change my life.

Fueled by support from family and friends in my hometown, plans for a charity walk to support Plumpy’nut took root. Walkers poured in for the first Walk for Plumpy’nut event where we raised over $5,000! A high school junior then, I realized that my involvement in these kinds of efforts couldn’t end there. The next year, Food for Thought (FFT), an organization dedicated to supporting children who lack access to quality nutrition and education, was born.

When I arrived at IC, I eagerly shared FFT with my new classmates and was thrilled when several joined me in establishing a campus chapter freshman year. Thanks to the support of club members and the community, we raised over $20,000 for feeding centers in Ethiopia through the walk. We also hosted hunger workshops, supported schools around the world, and sponsored a girl’s education in India.

As graduation approaches, it’s time for me to embrace a mentorship role and entrust FFT to new student leaders. I’m moved by how much FFT shaped me. It’s influenced my future career in communications by showing me that it’s not enough to be bursting with passion about something. As a leader, you need to be able to fill others with your same level of energy to solicit their support. If you have an insatiable passion for something, keep chasing it, dig deeper, and share it with others. I never would’ve predicted the impact FFT ultimately had on me, but I’m forever grateful for it.



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