BY ABDISADIK AIDRUS
Community Problem Solvers has lead a donation drive nicknamed "Food Bingo" to support Apollo students and their families through tough times. Read more to learn about their inspiration for this passion project.
Up to one third of the world's food is wasted before it is eaten. That's 1.3 billion tons, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. At the same time up to 793 million people don't get enough nourishment to help them live a healthy life. It’s a fact that most people overlook, but then again, members of CMPS are not most people.
In 7th grade, Parker Kayser, helped formed a team including fellow middle schoolers Gabby Hermansen, Sadie Bartels, Chelsie Hennen, and Jocelyn Filiyaro. Community Problem Solvers is a non-profit organization that solves real-life problems in our community. Recently, Parker and members of the CMPS analyzed data from the free and reduced lunch programs at Apollo and noticed that a lot of students were on the “border of poverty" meaning they could appreciate more support from their community.
With senior members of CMPS at the helm, the organization introduced the Bingo Program where students bring in non-perishable food and health items listed on the bingo cards provided to every planning room. In return, the first three planning rooms in each grade with a full black-out BINGO will win a root beer float party during homeroom.
CMPS is hoping to launch a new program called Rucksack where they will be distributing the items collected to the needy and homeless.
The plan is to focus on in students as for now but Parker is hopeful that with more help, they will be able to reach out to homeless shelters around the city.
Advocating for the Homeless
Homelessness, in most minds, may conjure images of cardboard boxes, sleeping bags, and heating grates which is a fair assumption. The realities, however, are far more complex. The strain on families as they face declining fortunes can be soul-draining.
Survival needs such as food, safety and shelter become daily struggles.
Think about the poor, the abused, the helpless.... what can your compassion accomplish for them? Not so much. But bringing an applesauce that you deemed invaluable, to your planning room might prove to be a lifesaver to someone else in need. No individual can solve the world's needs, but perhaps more kind hearts like those in the CMPS team, and a light bulb moment, is all it takes to feed the needy.