SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- A large contingent of Union Catholic students attended the eighth annual Teen Hunger Summit on Tuesday at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange.
The UC students who attended were Grace Ollen, Chelsea Alves, Oluwafemi Asenuga, Kaylee Bertani, Joe Colamedici, Donovyn Diaz, Hailey Galvez, Richard Gonzalez, Daniel Gonzalez, Katharine Hall, Isabelle McGovern, Clarise Rueda, Matthew Swinehart, Kai Tann, Madison Truesdale, Aiyana Williams, and Monika Wlodarski.
The event, coordinated by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and Seton Hall Prep, was chaperoned by UC faculty members Mr. Elito Tanyag and Mr. John Becht.
"The Teen Hunger Summit was very meaningful and insightful,'' said Mr. Becht, UC's Campus Minister and an advisor for UC's Peer Ministry Club. "The students were broken up into 13 different sessions that highlight different aspects of the Hunger epidemic, here in the state of New Jersey. Topics ranged from the assistance needed by small farmers to the need for better access to supermarkets for individuals living in the inner cities. The Keynote speaker for the event was Lonnie Allgood, a former NFL player who spoke on the importance of volunteer work, especially in the area of Hunger. Roughly 300 students from 15 different high schools attended the seminar.''
Matt Swinehart, a senior at UC who is a member of UC's Students for Human Dignity, said his first trip to the Teen Hunger Summit was an eye-opening experience.
"I was really surprised to find out how much food is wasted,'' said Swinehart, who lives in Linden. "We learned that every person in the world could have a proper meal if we didn't waste as much food as we do. I was also very surprised to learn that 60 percent of all the food on farms doesn't make it to supermarkets because there might be a little bruise on it. There is a lot of food that gets wasted. The whole experience made me realize just how lucky I am to not have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, and made me want to do even more to help people who are in need.''