SILVER LAKE ( — Three 13-year-old students at a Silver Lake middle school launched a food bank program in an effort to end hunger in Los Angeles.

McKenna Greenleaf Faulk, Fabian Samayoa and Erick Sanchez from Thomas Starr King Middle School were recognized Thursday by LA City Councilmember Tom LaBonge for creating the “37 Degrees From Hunger”.

“The school has so much food waste and my group members helped me create this project,” Greenleaf Faulk said.

The school’s Environmental Studios Magnet teacher Annemarie Ralph challenged her students to identify a community need with ecological impact and come up with a solution. Greenleaf Faulk, Samayoa and Sanchez chose the issue of hunger.

The program, which was named after the ideal temperature of a refrigerator, was created so the students could take what was uneaten from their cafeteria distributes it to those without food in Los Angeles.

“We can’t just give away food, we have to make sure it’s refrigerated and stuff or room temperature will bring bacteria on to it. So we had to get a refrigerator, but we didn’t have money to just go out and buy a refrigerator,” Faulk said.

Lowes Home Improvement Store gave the students grant money so they could purchase a refrigerator to store the food during the week. Then it’s collected by the LA Regional FoodBank and the First Southern Baptist Church in Hollywood.

“People have been saying they really like this, and people thank us for the food and everything,” Sanchez said.

The kids hope the idea doesn’t stop at their school but instead spreads nationwide.

“This was meant for big project, even though we are starting off small in our community, we are hoping it will spread out all over the country,” Faulk said.


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