Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Recent high school grads to volunteer at Ybor City event to raise awareness about hunger

College-bound high school graduates, from left, Rafael Migoyo, Ashira Pelt and Kevin Ramirez are members of Florida Youth Against Hunger, which will hold an event on Saturday.

ERNEST HOOPER | Times

College-bound high school graduates, from left, Rafael Migoyo, Ashira Pelt and Kevin Ramirez are members of Florida Youth Against Hunger, which will hold an event on Saturday.

TAMPA — Ashira Pelt watched the children she counsels at the Boys & Girls Clubs gather for lunch and noticed a few seemed overly eager.

"You can tell the ones that really need the food," said Pelt, a Hillsborough High graduate who moves on to Mount Holyoke College this fall. "They're not getting lunch as much as they're trying to stock up on food."

Kevin Ramirez, a fellow Hillsborough grad who will attend the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, got up close with people who wondered where their next meal was coming from when he helped the Homeless Coalition of Tampa Bay survey the county's homeless.

"I saw the faces and heard what they had to say."

Rafael Migoyo moves on from Jesuit High to Saint Leo University. He will take with him the memory of the downtrodden he helped serve at Trinity Cafe.

"I was touched not only by the amount of people who volunteer, but the amount of people who need help," Migoyo said.

On Saturday, these three teens join others across the state to continue their volunteer work through a new organization called Florida Youth Against Hunger. Members will hold events in Tampa, Tallahassee and Miami to raise awareness of hunger.

The Tampa event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the patio area at Ybor City's Cuban Club, 2010 N Avenida Republica De Cuba, and will feature performances from local youth bands, dancers and spoken word poets.

So how did three kids end up choosing to take on the daunting task of combating hunger? Well, it started with a special program in Tallahassee in April.

Spurred by their involvement in Children's Week and the Teens Only Town Hall Meeting during the legislative session, the three 18-year-olds and their newfound friends from that event vowed to do more after meeting with state officials and representatives.

Fellow panelist Matthew Morris turned their attention to the plight of hungry in Florida. They soon learned that 17.1 percent of Florida households are "food insecure," meaning they lack consistent access to a nutritious, well-balanced diet. More than 20 percent of all Florida children, approximately 850,000, fit that description.

The statistics helped open their eyes. It's why the vision of those sad faces they came in contact with during their volunteer efforts remain fresh.

Now, at a time when no one would fault them for focusing on their collegiate futures, they're collecting food donations, calling on elected officials to come up with hunger solutions and encouraging the public to take action.

"I've been telling my friends I can't go to the movies because I'm working on this event," said Pelt, a 2010 winner of the Bank of America Student Leaders program. "But I've also said, 'Come meet me and help with the event.' "

Some have donated a portion of their paychecks to help, she said, "and that's a lot."

The group is asking the public to donate food that is high in nutritional value such as vegetables, fruits and tuna. Donations will be divided among local food banks, soup kitchens and faith-based organizations that will be at the Cuban Club to educate the public about the services they provide.

For more information about Florida Youth Against Hunger, visit the organization's website at wix.com/youth2011/fyah.

Recent high school grads to volunteer at Ybor City event to raise awareness about hunger 08/11/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 11, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  3. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  4. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  5. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)