There are 795 million undernourished people in the world today. That means one in nine people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. The good news is that hunger is entirely solvable. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone and no scientific breakthroughs are needed. Today’s knowledge, tools and technology are already sophisticated enough. The only missing ingredient is the will to help, we can solve the problem.
Cory Nichols is currently a junior in Oceanside High School. In September 2012, after viewing a documentary called, “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island”, Cory decided he was going to attempt to raise $1,200.00 to provide for the local food pantry with $100.00 of food a month for a full year.
The first step of his charity was to advertise. He initiated by creating a Facebook page to spread the word around. Reaching out to friends and families was something Cory believed would help him raise the money. As the charity began to take off, Nichols realized that getting more kids involved could be a beneficial step.
“I wanted to start a board in order to get more young people involved. There had already been a bunch of teens who were helping at that point and I felt like they deserved to be a part of something bigger,” said Nichols. Upon starting his Junior Advisory Board, Nichols realized that the more people involved, the more help those who needed it received. Run by Cory himself, the teens get together monthly to discuss important issues and strategies on how to better the organization. Food drives, raffles, and grocery shops are all things that these teens do to raise money. After surpassing his original goal of $1,200.00, Cory kept the money coming in.
As a member of the advisory board, I can say that it is a honor to be a part of something so special. The realization that we are providing for people who live within our community is a gratifying and humbling experience that I am thankful to have had the opportunity to take part in.
Halloween for the Hungry is an event that Cory organizes each year. Starting October 1st, Cory and his board pass out flyers, speak to neighbors, and reach out to friends and families in an effort to collect as much food as they possibly can to bring to local food pantries and families in need.
During the holiday season, Cory orchestrates the gathering of food for families in need. After gathering an immense and vast bulk of food, he delivers it house to house. “I have met a few of the recipients over the years, but the one that stands out the most was a mom from Oceanside who told me her family doesn’t know that she uses the food pantry. She lost her job and in order to pay her rent/mortgage and bills she wasn’t able to provide enough food for her family. She was incredibly thankful that young people were working to make sure people like her and her kids have enough food to eat.”
Over these four years, through donations, raffles, grants, and awards he has received, Cory has raised an impressive $40,000.00 and has officially become a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. “We have delivered tens of thousands of pounds of food to eight different food pantries across Long Island.” Nichols said.
For all his efforts, Nichols’ work doesn’t go unnoticed. The Long Island community is well aware of the teen’s good deeds. He is a recipient of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, and was named Oceanside’s Person of the Year. With a strong desire to help and the will to assist those in need, Cory has expanded what started as a small deed, into an impressive campaign for change.
If you are interested in getting involved or would like to know more information, you can email Cory at email@example.com.
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