September 26, 2019
by Paul Morello
In America, 1 in 7 children is at risk of hunger. For one 16-year-old from New York, that’s one too many. And she’s doing something about it.
Meet Jessica McCrorie. She just turned 16. She knows that a lot of kids go hungry in the United States – including kids in her own community. She knows that hunger is a huge problem and that kids who don’t have enough food struggle to focus in school and can’t grow up healthy. She also knows that most teens and other kids don’t realize any of those facts. So she’s taking it into her hands to change that.
Jessica is a Feeding America “teen ambassador” and recently began raising awareness of child hunger with kids in her home state of New York.
“As an ambassador, I’m working with schools, churches and community organizations on Long island to help spread awareness of hunger in our community and ask my neighbors to lend a hand any way they can,” she said.
Working with Long Island Cares, she started doing presentations about hunger among kids. Because making sure teens and kids know about the issue is the first step towards ending hunger.
“It’s so important for people my age to know that hunger exists,” she said. “Because learning about hunger made me wonder how many kids in my own school were struggling.”
Kids are our future, and Jessica wants to ensure our future doesn’t involve hunger. That’s why talking to kids about hunger makes the most sense to her.
But talking and raising awareness is only part of the solution. So Jessica regularly rolls up her sleeves to volunteer at Long Island Cares and at her church’s monthly “peanut butter and jelly day,” when volunteers deliver 500 sandwiches to the local food bank.
“It only takes an hour to make the sandwiches and it’s so gratifying to know that someone in my community will be eating that sandwich the same day,” she said.
Jessica knows hunger is a big issue in America. But she also knows every single action is important.
“People can help by raising awareness, volunteering or donating,” she said. “Everybody counts and one person absolutely can make a difference.”