National Honor Society members are now required to have least 5 of their 15 volunteer hours come from Harvesters, a nonprofit regional food bank that serves a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas, by the beginning of May.
Students can get involved with Harvesters in a number of ways, such as packing food at the Harvesters warehouse, assisting at Harvesters’ special events, becoming hunger advocates or holding a food and fund drive.
In the past, the SME NHS chapter has partnered with different organizations for the requirement, including Down Syndrome Guild of KC and Upper Room.
The program’s co-presidents and sponsor made the decision to partner this year with Harvesters for the second semester service project. According to teacher sponsor Melinda DiGirolamo, one of the current co-presidents has a connection within the organization so they felt Harvesters was a natural fit.
Some members are not in favor of requiring the five service hours to come from an organization chosen for them.
“I am not the biggest fan of [the requirement] because I usually get all my hours in one place,” Senior NHS member Stella Brahly said. “Last semester I volunteered at the Village Church Food Pantry, where I got 33 hours.”
However, not all members are opposed to the idea. Junior Jonah Golder believes the organization benefits more from all students putting their hours into one place than a few hours going to many different organizations.
The NHS’s partnership with Harvesters helps the organization’s goal, which is to increase awareness about hunger in Kansas City and the region by working with the community and to provide food to those who can’t afford it or don’t have access .