Students Organize Race to Help End Child Hunger

Kelsey Koester, Lindsey Alleman and Alexia Ehrsam haven’t noticed hungry children where they live in western Lucas County. But the three high school seniors know hunger exists a dozen or so miles away in Toledo.

As part of their Penta Career Center teaching professions class at Anthony Wayne High School, students get field experience in other school districts. Some of the children Koester saw at Toledo’s Old Orchard Elementary during her first field experience visit obviously did not have enough food to eat.

No Kid Hungry walk organizers

“It really gave us a big picture,” Koester said. “It was like a wakeup call to see firsthand how serious it was.”

The trio is doing their part to help end child hunger by organizing an April 19, 2014, run and walk to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign with entry fees and Seagate Foodbank of Northwest Ohio with non-perishable food donations. Both Share Our Strength and Seagate Foodbank are partners in ProMedica’s Come to the Table initiative to address hunger as a health issue nationwide.

Walkers and runners can register for the races at Monclova Primary School, 8035 Monclova Road, Monclova Township, on April 19 at 9 a.m. The No Kid Hungry® 5K Run/Walk both start at 10:30 a.m., and registration is $25 a person. There also will be a No Kid Hungry® 1K Kids Fun Run at 10 a.m.

In 2013, the first No Kid Hungry® race organized by Anthony Wayne High School students attracted more than 300 participants and raised $3,088. The project also earned the students who organized it, Hailie Smith and Brooke Heuerman, a gold medal at the 2013 Family Career & Leaders of America National Leadership Conference and a trophy for raising the most money.

“It turned out to be a huge success, so we wanted to continue it this year for sure,” Koester said. “We all decided we wanted to make an impact and help kids.”

Added Alleman, the 2014 event’s lead coordinator: “And cure childhood hunger.”