AmeriCorps Spotlight, Children’s Hunger Alliance

By Christine Olding

In honor of AmeriCorps week, I decided to fill everyone in on an AmeriCorps program that not only helps our organization but helps thousands of people in the state of Ohio on a daily basis. That organization being, Children’s Hunger Alliance ( CHA); a non-profit organization that works with youth services, after-school programs , childcare facilities and faith-based organizations to provide healthy meals to children in need.

At Hamilton STEM Academy we work with CHA on a daily basis. They provide meals for our after-school programs. The meals are delivered to us each day before our programs start. They always contain a fruit or vegetable, grain, meat and dairy product to ensure that our students get their daily dosage of the food pyramid. In order for an organization to obtain and keep the free meals that they receive they must follow several very important rules. The organization requesting the free meals must go to a training session that gives that organization all of the information necessary to run their meal program successfully. The organization must give the names, birthdates, genders, and allergies of all participating children to CHA. They must make sure that all of the eating areas are clean and every child receives each part of their meal. An organization must have a copy of their menu on display during their after-school program at all times. They do check-ins three times a year to make sure that your program is following the rules set out by CHA.

Children’s Hunger Alliance began in 1970 and now serves every single county in Ohio. Not only do they provide free meals to thousands of Ohio children, they also provide education on healthy eating habits and physical activity. They have several AmeriCorps members that provide that information to the parents and children that they serve.  Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities is an AmeriCorps program run through CHA that provides full-time support in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Akron, and Cincinnati. They spend roughly half of their time providing education concerning the topics of healthy choices and physical activity and the other half on providing insight to expand the capacity of Children’s Hunger Alliance.

Despite the fact that I am serving as a City Year volunteer it is a necessity for myself and others to realize that we cannot do it alone. Rarely can any AmeriCorps program reach their goals and expectations on its own. It needs the help from the surrounding communities, citizens and businesses alike. In our case, we have the ability to work hand-in-hand with another AmeriCorps funded program that allows each of us to help reach our goals, expectations and children that we serve.


What City Year Columbus is Thankful For

By: Sarai Exil

I’m not going to lie. This is an upsetting world I live in. It’s quite easy to get distracted by the hideous reminders of how hard this world can be, and forget how we are truly blessed. So City Year Columbus was asked what they were thankful for…

My Kids – Brittny Berry

Hannah [Cryer] – Jay Booker

The CSX team, who keep me from losing my mind on a daily basis. I love all of them dearly, and am extremely thankful for them.  – Hannah Cryer

I am thankful for being a part of a great organization that cares about children and equal education. I am thankful for all of the support from family, friends, and corps members! I’m thankful for my baby and I pray that he/she is healthy and happy 🙂 – Averyanna Evans

I am thankful for supportive friends and family. – Patrice Gardner

I am thankful for the breath of life and all that comes with it. – Jackie Gibbs

I am thankful for my health. I’ve been pretty healthy all my life, with no big medical issues or diseases. So, I’m thankful for being healthy. – Elizabeth Hageman

I am thankful for Adobe Photoshop. – Jeffrey League

I am thankful to be alive and living and having a loving family to support me. – Brentlee McCrummen

I’m thankful for life, love, family, friends, and happiness. – Crystal McDonald

I am thankful for the support system I have in my life. Without it I do not know how I would get through everything. – Molly O’Brien

I am thankful for having such a wonderful support system. I couldn’t ask for better friends and family! – Christine Olding

I’m thankful for the continuous support of the entire Columbus City Year corps and staff. Each and every one of you has made me feel loved at LEAST once during these last few months and I can’t tell you all how thankful I am for that support. Thanks for being my source of encouragement, love and a bajillion great memories, but most importantly thanks for being my family in a new place 🙂  – Melissa Santiago


My Family! – Kyle Sims

I am thankful for the support of my family in anything I do….and the Buffalo Bills/Sabres. – Micheal Slepian

I’m thankful for every blessing and opportunity in my life. – Nicole Smith

Ten fingers and ten toes – Steven Solomon

I am thankful for my God, health, life, family, my dog (Snupe), the small group of people in my life called “real friends,” the trials in my life. Last, but not least, I’m thankful for my City Year team, staff, site, and community in which I serve. – Roosevelt Williams

I’m thankful to all the people who make my service less stressful and more rewarding, especially Cristin Bryant, who has been a stupendous guide for me this year (and just a great human being in general). I’m thankful to the Corps, who make my day every Friday, and who find a way to serve in spite of seemingly countless obstacles. I’m thankful to Kevin Bilapka, obviously. I’m thankful to my wonderful parents, who showed up out of the blue and saved my life a couple of weekends ago. And I’m thankful to Jeff and Mike… kind of. – Jack Wolfe

And lastly, I’m thankful for this opportunity I’ve been given to serve with people from all walks of life, because honestly, I need that challenge each day. I’m thankful that each and every one of us make up a Corps whose skills line up on a very intricate spectrum creating a perfect replication of a Lakansyèl. 

So readers, what are you thankful for?