Tackling hunger with realistic pathways out of poverty

Tackling hunger with realistic pathways out of poverty

Douglas Colmery, Food Justice Campus development coordinator of StarkFresh, center in blue shirt, explains to the Walsh University service-learning class how the community kitchen works and how food safety is practiced at the StarkFresh campus.


Walsh University corporate communication students are collaborating with StarkFresh, located in Canton, during spring semester to bring awareness about feeding people located in their hometown.

This group of students is breaking into small teams to allocate different aspects of this campaign. Those include video work, visual representations, marketing objectives and program outreach to give the community a sense of togetherness.

The goal of the class is to use each student’s talent for different elements of the project. The students also were able to tour the StarkFresh campus to see the new grocery store, the veggie mobiles, the community kitchen, the dining room and the basement to see mushrooms being grown.

“This opportunity will not only benefit StarkFresh but will help us students to prepare for the work world,” graduating senior Kyle Burke said. “It has given us the chance to work with each other and for an organization.”

Every Walsh student is required to complete a service-learning project during their academic career. The Office of Service-Learning furthers this commitment by connecting Walsh University students to the local community.

“StarkFresh has been a valuable partner to Walsh for many years, and we look to them to help us better understand the issues of food insecurity and systemic poverty in our community,” said Michael Cinson, director of global learning and service learning at Walsh University. “We work to achieve reciprocity with our community partners and courses. Projects with StarkFresh, like with the students in the Corporate Communications Capstone, are a great example of a mutual benefit. StarkFresh provides our Walsh students a hands-on, practical landscape, and we at Walsh are able to provide a product StarkFresh can use to help further advocate and promote their mission.”

StarkFresh has been working with Walsh University in various capacities since 2013. Service-learning projects have given this nonprofit, with limited resources, access to professional-level project work.

“Partnering with Walsh University has been crucial to helping us continue to create relevant marketing content,” said Tom Phillips, executive director at StarkFresh. “Over the years we have found that for the students, being able to take their classroom knowledge and apply it to a real-world application and be able to help out a community agency while doing so has proven to be beneficial to all involved.”

Visit www.flipgrid.com/+r4wpdnaf for the project from the students’ perspective.

StarkFresh is tackling the causes of hunger by creating realistic pathways out of poverty. Learn more at www.starkfresh.org/.

StarkFresh Food Justice Campus is located at 321 Cherry St. NE in Canton.

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