HomeCampusStudent activists bring awareness to food poverty

Student activists bring awareness to food poverty

Published Oct. 8, 2021

By AVA CAMARGO

Students will deepen their knowledge of food insecurity and world hunger, while also participating in community service opportunities in a new club called Full Belly Brasil, brought to the Carmel High School campus by seniors Ema Kamler and Grace Peavey to help raise funds for the global nonprofit organization.

Club president Kamler decided to partner with the Environmental Club to get students to take action in their local community, spread the word about Full Belly Brasil and take part in their community service activities.

“Our club joins the Environmental Club on the activities that they do, such as beach cleanups,” Kamler says. “The actual Full Belly Brasil organization partners with other environmental initiatives so I wanted to do the same.”

While both Kamler and Peavey continue to look for community service activities, they hosted a tie-dye event Oct. 3 and plan on holding similar events throughout the year. For more information about upcoming events, students can visit Room 41 Thursday’s at lunch.

President of Full Belly Brasil Ema Kamler (far left) conducts a meeting about their Oct. 3 tie-dye event. (Photo by AVA CAMARGO)

Kamler had met the founder of the organization, John Dewald, on a volunteer service trip in the Dominican Republic, where she learned that he was looking for high school students across the United States to fundraise clubs for his nonprofit. Dewald is an outdoor enthusiast who actively participates in global environmental education, conjuring the idea for a nonprofit that specifically focuses on a world-wide issue such as world hunger.

The primary mission of the Full Belly Brasil organization is to use sustainable practices to prevent and recover food waste that can be transported to areas where food poverty is most overwhelming. So far, the nonprofit has provided over 34,000 meals, planted 70,000 trees, and removed nearly 225 pounds of trash.

Vice president Grace Peavey reiterates the mission of the organization. 

“It was started to support food poverty mainly in Brazil,” says Peavey, “but it was also started for teenagers to get volunteer hours and to help out with the community whether it’s local or foreign affairs.”

Art teacher Steven Russell, who advises the club, provides his classroom for Kamler and Peavey to utilize as a meeting place. Although the meetings are primarily student-run, he hopes that this club will bring awareness to students about the food consumption and waste on campus.

“It’s more than just raising funds for Full Belly Brasil,” Russell says. “It’s also about bringing awareness to students about hunger issues and food deserts and getting kids to be more mindful about what they are possibly throwing away.”

Russell also describes his concern for sustainability, due to the recent increase in littering seen on campus during break and lunch. By learning about food poverty in Brazil, Russell anticipates that members will take action to keep our campus clean.

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