(Canton, Ohio) – The Stark County Hunger Task Force (SCHTF) is encouraging parents and guardians to sign their children up to participate in a unique summer camp option.
Stephanie Sweany, Assistant Director with the SCHTF, explained they are re-establishing and further developing a similar approach that was launched a few years ago that consisted of a one-day experience. “We wanted to expand it, we wanted to make it open for more people to attend and just go more in depth with everything.”
Sweany explained the SCHTF team has become inspired by so many young people reaching out with interest in holding food drives and volunteering. She notes specifically, Logan Kuhn, a 10-year-old boy from Jackson Township, who as launched Logan’s Lunches. “We just see a lot of ambitious young people that want to learn more about what we are doing and want to make a difference in the community.”
The idea behind the new program: Junior Hunger Fighters Camp, is to not only inspire and motivate the area’s youth to take positive action against hunger in their communities but to also show them how.
The day camp will be held July 30th through August 1st 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Ken Weber Community Campus at Goodwill, 408 Ninth Street SW. Sweany noted that the children, ages 5-17, will be broken up into groups to participate in different age-based activities and learning experiences. “Different art projects, crafts, a lot of hands-on activities,” said Sweany.” One portion will be learning how to organize a food drive in a fun way. Each child will leave with a tub that will have signage that will be intended for them to organize a drive after the camp. They will also get a food drive guide that will be in more of a children’s book-style that we’re going to get bound and laminated.”
Among the staff and volunteers that will be on site will be former educators and child development professionals. Sweany adds they have received a donation of fabric from Anna Louisa’s Needle Art out of Louisville to make capes. “Thought it would be fun to have this superhero theme, that we say, ‘hunger fighters.’” A snack will also be provided to all participants each day of the camp.
The camp is completely funded by the Summertime Kids Grant through Stark Community Foundation and therefore allows SCHTF to offer it at no charge to local kids.
With 1 in 4 children in Stark County struggling with food insecurity, Sweany explained she is truly moved by the number of young people determined to make a difference. “To young people involved and think about what they can do as they learn how to organize and become stronger and stronger, just the change that they can make in the community. I think the more young people that we have mobilized out there recognizing the problems in the community, the stronger the community is going to be.”
Registration is still open by visiting Starkhunger.org and clicking on the link on the homepage. You can also register by contacting Assistant Director Stephanie Sweany at email@example.com or 330-455-6667.