WEST END, Ohio (WKRC) - A group of Cincinnati high school students are improving lives halfway around the world.
Partnering with the Anthony Muñoz Foundation, students at Taft Information Technology High School are making sure thousands of kids in Africa don't go hungry.
Inside the commons area after school, scoops of rice and grains fall into bags, hit the scale, get a fresh seal, and then get put into a box and sent off to Lesotho in Southern Africa.
"I always wanted to do something like this,” said Taft senior Ronald Cutts.
Cutts says being able to directly impact lives is a dream come true.
I just pitched the idea to a counselor," said Cutts. "Then we sat down in class and a lady was like, 'I knew a guy who knows a guy, and we're going to make it happen.'
A few months later, it's happening.
"Today, I’m all smiles because this started out with a group of a few students and we’ve grown to maybe 60-80 students in the cafeteria right now, with hair nets on, hands washed, and they are all at their stations packing food right now,” said school counselor Melissa Homan.
The Taft community service project stems from the Anthony Muñoz Foundation's Youth Leadership Seminar. The project is working with the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative, a Wittenberg University student-led effort to feed children in South Africa.
Lesotho is one of the 30 poorest countries in the world," said Lesotho Nutrition Initiative President, Scott Rosenberg. "Right now, it’s estimated that about 35 percent of children in Lesotho suffer from severe malnutrition and stunting.
Over seven years, Rosenberg says, the initiative has provided more than 3 million meals.
"We are particularly focused on kids 0-5, because that’s when 95 percent of our cognitive development happens and it’s important kids get proper nutrition during the first five years,” said Rosenberg.
As all the students spent the afternoon on the line, their teachers looked on with pride.
"We are more than just Cincinnati, Ohio, we’re in the world and this is a way for them to step out into that large community,” said school counselor James Loomis.