Bake your heart out for Hope, Help, Harvest

All proceeds from class efforts will be donated to help local food poverty


Bree Blair

Allison Cosgrove, ’18, and Lindsay McParlane, ’18, sell tickets for the bake-off on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. All proceeds were donated to Hope, Help, Harvest, a nonprofit, student-run organization that raises money for food banks in Crawford County.

Meaghan Wilby, Features Editor

Members of the Allegheny College community gathered in Schultz Banquet Hall on Thursday, Dec. 1, for a bake-off organized by students in the communication arts “Media Theory and Practice” class. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Hope, Help, Harvest which is a nonprofit, student-run organization that raises money for Crawford County food banks.

According to Pennsylania’s state year report in 2015, 11.3 percent of Pennsylvania’s population suffered from food insecurity at some point between 2012 and 2014. This means that this 11.3 percent experienced difficulty providing enough food due to a lack of money or resources. According to population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015, 14.9 percent of people in Crawford County were living in poverty in 2014.

The students from “Media Theory and Practice” are divided into four groups. Each group has a designated social media platform and is expected to raise at least $750 for Hope, Help, Harvest. The class as a whole has until Dec. 12, to raise a minimum of $3,000 to donate. Bree Blair, ’17, is in the group that organized Thursday’s bake-off.

“One of the most important things … about it is that every $1 we raise is $17 worth of food in retail value,” said Blair. “So every $1 that someone gives us—that’s $17 worth of food that they are giving someone who is less fortunate, who’s in food poverty.”

Fourteen groups volunteered to bake items to be judged for the bake-off. Tickets costed $4, which allowed attendees to choose seven items to try. Attendees were then required to rank the baked goods in order from favorite to least favorite and the winner was awarded a $20 gift card to Market House Grille in Meadville. Phi Delta Theta’s team won the prize for their almond ring. Other items baked included coconut macaroons, cinnamon roll cookies, puppy chow, applesauce, gluten and dairy-free cookies and brownies. In addition to the bake-off, Blair’s group has a raffle and a paper flower sale planned, which they will be tabling for during upcoming lunchtimes. Another group from the class is organizing a soup bar on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in the Henderson Campus Center lobby. Tickets will be $5. There is also a gofundme page where people can choose to donate as well.

Lynsey Brame, ’17, is part of the group planning the soup bar and said they have also already done a sweatshirt fundraiser, during which they sold Allegheny sweatshirts for $15 through University Tees. Other previous efforts from the class include dorm-storming and selling candygrams at Thanksgiving.

“I think it’s cool that we can work together as a class to do something good for the community [and] to give back to Meadville,” said Brame. “It’s pretty astonishing how relevant food poverty is.”

Brame said a main part of the project is to raise awareness of food poverty in the community.

“A big part of the campaign … is the education aspect of it,” Brame said. “The money is [a short-term solution]. We’re helping now, but if we can continue to raise awareness then there could be more solutions in the future.”

Lindsay McParlane, ’18, is also a member of the class and helped to organize the bake-off. She echoed Brame’s statements about the importance of education.

“It’s important to raise the awareness about the food poverty in Crawford County,” said McParlane. “That’s something that I didn’t really know about before I took the class. That’s another thing that’s been an important learning experience from this.”

Brame said that she has learned a lot from the class.

“The class is really good for the future,” Brame said. “Even if you don’t want to go into advertising, there are so many skills—like working in a group and being creative and using resources, finding out what you can and cannot do—[that you learn].”

This is the second year that the class has worked with Hope, Help, Harvest. Last year’s class raised over $4,000 for the organization, according to Blair. With the addition of the $3,000 that the class is expected to raise this year, there is a total of at least $7,000 that will have been donated to help food poverty in Crawford County in the last two years, Blair said.

“That’s a lot of money for a really good cause that’s going directly back into the community that we live in,” Blair said.