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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Michael Murray

Michael Murray

Oregon

Michael Murray, 14, of Lake Oswego, Ore., an eighth-grader at Lake Oswego Junior High School, started a club at his school that has collected enough food and money over the past few years to provide an estimated 10,000 meals to hungry Oregon families. It became clear to me that I should focus on hunger when I learned how many people in my community do not have access to food, said Michael. In 2014, he worked with his principal and one of his teachers to get his club off the ground, then advertised for members.

A core group of about 15 students now participate in Michaels Hunger Fighters Oregon club on a regular basis, meeting weekly to talk about how best to collect donations. At first, the members knocked on doors in their neighborhoods, but then began to conduct collection drives at their school. They also sell T-shirts that say I wont stand for hunger. To further educate his fellow students about hunger, Michael delivered a 15-minute speech and a PowerPoint presentation at an assembly for each grade at his school, speaking directly to more than 900 middle-schoolers. All of the donations gathered by his club go to the Oregon Food Bank, which distributes them to food kitchens across the state. I will never be able to know exactly how many people I helped directly, said Michael, but if all of this helped one person who was hungry, then I accomplished what I set out to do.