On September 28th, the 7th grade had the opportunity to volunteer at the SF-Marin Food Bank and participate in a Hunger 101 simulation. As more and more people struggle to make ends meet, the need for the SF-Marin Food Bank has grown in recent years. On a weekly basis 30,000 families are fed from the SF-Marin Food bank through 450 Bay Area community partners.
Students learned about the food donation process. Produce that is cosmetically flawed is often donated, for example, small heads of cabbage and wrinkled oranges.
Hamlin students spent the morning flexing their muscles while boxing 15,000 pounds of oranges and 12,000 pounds of carrots!
In the afternoon students participated in Hunger 101. Each student was given a composite sketch based on real people living in San Francisco. The profiles contained details about income, utilities, rent, and other specific information. Hamlin students then used the data to calculate how much daily money they were able to spend on groceries to feed their families or themselves (if their profile person lived alone). In most cases their characters had less than five dollars a day for food. Students were also able to apply for food stamps using a real five-page government issued form. Additionally, some girls elected to supplement their food supply by eating one meal at a soup kitchen. During the debrief, girls expressed their frustration at not having enough money to get by.
One student had this to say about the Hunger 101 simulation:
“The couple in my profile both worked full time, but couldn’t afford to buy enough food, that really surprised me.”
Another student commented on the volunteer experience at the SF Marin Food Bank:
“It felt good to help out, it was fun to package carrots, it was well organized and the people that worked there were passionate about their jobs.”
For more information about the important work of the SF-Marin Food Bank please visit:
Please watch this video of our students hard at work: