ROCHESTER, N.Y. — With every boxed filled, a bell rings in celebration. Assembly lines of RIT students in the field house on Tuesday afternoon worked to feed those in need throughout the Rochester community. To many at the Rochester Institute of Technology, giving back is a privilege.
"I feel like there's no point in being alive and not helping others,” said Rohit Bhagavathula, an RIT student. “I'm so fortunate, so blessed in my life and being able to give back to others is just a part of what it means to be a good human being to me. I really like that I can take advantage of the opportunities that I have and help others that don't have those same opportunities."
Roughly 150 RIT students participated in Giving Tuesday's Hunger Project, one that hopes to donate 18,000 pre-packaged meals to Rochester's Food Link. The meals made Tuesday were packaged Jambalaya, with the final goal of 20,000 meals. The additional 2,000 went to RIT's Foodshare Program. For many at RIT, looking out for the local community is a priority.
"We know Rochester struggles with homelessness and poverty, and alongside that is food disparities,” said Kathryn Cilano, civic engagement coordinator for RIT. “So when we were thinking about Giving Tuesday and how we wanted to give back to our community, the Hunger Project, feeding children was a great opportunity to do that."
All of the meals made on Tuesday will stay local, and RIT's Foodshare Program allows students on campus to either swap food for meals they want, or ensure student food security.