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Stepping up to hunger

By Kitty Zheng

Throughout high school, Hanna Wondmagegn, 17, has participated in a variety of clubs ranging from National Honor Society to the National Student Program. But one activity stands out above all her achievements: Being the Founder of the Food Recovery Program.

The Food Recovery Program was created to help children and families in hunger by giving them lunch that students at school would normally throw away. Wondmagegn began planning the Food Recovery Program during her sophomore year at East Mecklenburg High and as she progressed to junior year, she put her plans into action.

Hanna was inspired by her school’s work with Hungry planet after discovering that world hunger is a huge issue in today’s society. With the help of her principal, teacher and advisor, she was asked to join Food Rescue, a nonprofit organization that collects food for children attending school.

There are 795 million people in the world today that are living in hunger. Wondmagegn’s initial goal was not to help hunger but to help environmental problems. All food that ends up in landfills are converted into methane gas, which is deadlier than carbon dioxide.

“ The United States produces up to four times the amount of food than they need.” Wondmagegn said.

Her work impacted her community in an immense way and she was asked to speak on Tedx. She expressed her ideas through this show in hopes of getting people involved.

Her primary goal in the program is “as long as the food is going in the stomach and not the trash it is okay.” Wondmagegn admits that being in multiple clubs and organizations can be stressful. But with her passionate and optimistic attitude about everything, it helps make her successful.

Wondmagegn’s career goal is to become a broadcast journalist with the ABC network and the Food Recovery Program is a stepping stone towards that goal. She said that being passionate can be her downfall because once she starts something she can blow it out of proportion.

“Food Recovery Program has become so successful that the library passes on the excess food to another charity.” Wondmagegn said.