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The Suburbanite
  • Middle school students helps fight hunger

  • Lauren Fisher, a Jackson Memorial Middle School student, thought she could help those in need of food by asking parents, grandparents and members of her youth basketball team to bring canned goods and other food items to one the basketball games.
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  • Hunger, often, seems to be a world away.
    But hunger hits home. In fact, there are many adults, children and families in northeast Ohio that lack enough food to get through the day.
    Area residents are ready to jump in to help feed those in need. Among them is one local 12-year-old who started a food drive to help others.
    Lauren Fisher, a Jackson Memorial Middle School student, thought she could help those in need of food by asking parents, grandparents and members of her youth basketball team to bring canned goods and other food items to one the basketball games.
    People responded in an overwhelming fashion.
    Fisher hoped to collect 100 cans of food. In four short hours on Nov. 16, she collected 324 pounds of food including more than 350 cans of food. Lauren and her family delivered it all to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank in Akron.
    "The Foodbank told me that the food we brought in will feed 274 families," Lauren said. "We also had some people donate money and we were told that 84 families would be helped with the money we collected."
    Lauren's father Harold said the idea to collect the food was all his daughter's idea. She had helped at other food collections and wanted her youth basketball team to get involved with helping others.
    "My wife Cindy and I are so proud of her and we just want to encourage her to do more," Harold said. "This was her idea, her follow-up and her energy that made this happened."
    Lauren said she and her family started handing out flyers in early November and on the night of the collection, people came prepared. She said that some people came with 10 or more cans of food. They also received cereal, noodles and other food items.
    The project turned out to be a family affair.
    Lauren's 9-year-old brother helped the night of the collection by taking the food donated and putting it in the Foodbank bins. He also collected tickets for a raffle that Lauren organized as an incentive for people to bring in donations.
    She was able to offer a one-month membership to the Akron Wellness Center which was donated for the cause. There were other clothing items donated by local businesses such t-shirts and hats.
    Lauren was surprised to get a special tour of the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank when she and her family dropped off the food and money she had collected.
    "They showed us how the food they receive as donations gets processed and delivered," Lauren said. "The Foodbank is really big. They said they turn over the food every three months."
    Lauren plans to start another food drive next year when she is in junior high basketball.
    Page 2 of 2 - "I really enjoy helping people," Lauren said. "It feels nice to do something good. When you have such a great life, it's good to help others to enjoy their lives."
    The Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank is located at 350 Opportunity Parkway in Akron. For more information about the food bank visit www.akroncantonfoodbank.org