Senior Shannon McDunnough joins forces with restaurants to help feed the hungry

Shealyn Mandle, Co-Editor

Senior Shannon McDunnough and her mom are on their way to the North End Soup Kitchen with a car full of leftover food that could have gone to waste. Food that was destined to the dumpster will now find its way to the empty stomachs of people in Flint.

Volunteers like Shannon McDunnough and her mother Christine McDunnough, can not stand to see all the food wasted when there are thousands of people starving. They decided to make a change and help those in need by starting a charity organization where they pick up food from local restaurants at the end of the day to give to soup kitchens in the area.

“One day my mom and I were talking about how much food goes to waste from big events and how we know a lot of restaurants just throw away their food at the end of the day,” McDunnough said. “So we organized our own charity called Food Runners.”

Food Runners picks up from different Panera Bread locations, as well as leftover food from St. John’s Church when there are events. A couple of VG’s and Tim Hortons locations are in the process of working with the organization.

“Our goal is to fight starvation by transporting excess food from restaurants and bakeries to the North End Soup Kitchen where it is distributed by Catholic charities to any of the three soup kitchens they run,” McDunnough said. “Not all the restaurants let us take their food and some already have people who do something similar. Some restaurants just are not willing, which is bizarre to me.”

For Shannon McDunnough and her mom, it is not just a duty to pick up and deliver food to those who need it. Volunteering is something that they look forward to doing because they get to directly help end hunger for some people in Michigan.

“It’s been a really great experience because when I was little I used to go to the soup kitchen and help out; now I get to help in a different way,” McDunnough said. “When we made our first delivery, the chef who was there started crying; it’s amazing to see how much of a difference the food most people throw away can make to so many people who are in need.”

Others can share the same type of experience that the McDunnoughs do by joining a community service club that will eventually provide for valuable lessons. Being involved can be as simple as joining a club like NHS or Key Club where students team up to take on charity events.

“Creating this organization has helped me to be more aware of how blessed I am and to not be wasteful. It’s also taught me persistence because we are constantly working to get more restaurants and bakeries to donate,” McDunnough said. “We’re just trying to do the most that we can.”