Students in COMRT 260 (Media Theory & Practice), a course that focused on applied Integrated Marketing Communications, took on the challenge of addressing food poverty in Crawford County, PA. The initiative started under the banner of "Feed the Mead" (short for our town of Meadville), and then became "Hope. Help. Harvest", as we expanded our efforts to address the need in the broader Meadville-Erie area.
Over three consecutive semesters, the different cohorts of students taking the course built on the efforts of those before them. In the process, they learned how to apply social marketing, communication, and event planning skills to tackling a social problem, one bite at a time. Each class raised awareness about hunger at both the national and local levels, besides bringing in food relief between $3000-$7000 per semester.
However, the real lesson was appreciating the teamwork and the journey, and keeping the focus on the cause. Students in each semester therefore agreed that the money should be donated anonymously to various food banks. Doing good, they realized, is about giving back to their community and should be part of who they are, not just a resume builder.
Students organized a soup bar to educate the community on food poverty in Crawford County, PA.
Attendees at the soup bar event learn how they can get involved with Hope Help Harvest initiatives and other community organizations fighting hunger.
Allegheny students write their vision of a better world for the "Tree of Hope"
Bake offs that led to food for thought
Former Allegheny College President Jim Mullen lends his support