When Rodrigo Sutema and Dylan Goldberg started Food for Tomorrow - a project to raise money, food and awareness about hunger in Howard County - they anticipated it would last for about one month. More than a year later, the project is still going strong and helping those in need.
“One reason we started this project was because we saw friends and acquaintances we never thought would be affected by the recession or need food stamps,” says Sutema, a freshman at American University. "We wanted desperately to help our friends."
While interning for Howard County Council member Mary Kay Sigaty as high school seniors, Sutema and Goldberg came up with the idea for Food for Tomorrow and set out to collect food on the weekends in front of local grocery stores.
With support from the Community Action Council of Howard County and county government, Food for Tomorrow was able to buy relief food for the Howard County Food Bank when Hurricane Irene hit and provide 200 additional turkeys for Thanksgiving. In total, Food for Tomorrow raised $15,000 and 3.5 tons of food last year.
Today there is a new batch of interns at the helm: Adrian Evans, Christine Kim, Makeda Solomon, all seniors at Long Reach High School; Swathi Narayan, a senior at Oakland Mills High School; and Jadon Ramsing, a junior at Wilde Lake High School.
In addition to helping the food bank, the students learn how to draft proposals for sponsors and plan fundraisers. "It has taught me a lot about the business aspect," says Solomon. "It’s a lot of work. And I've learned to be grateful for what I have.
"The effort has served as an eye-opener, adds Kim."It's a great way to give back to our neighborhood," she says. "It helps to see what's really going on in our lives. There are people suffering. We really need to open our eyes."
For more information about Food for Tomorrow or to donate, visit cac-hc.org.