Srishti Sankaran, 16, of Bellevue, Washington, a sophomore at Interlake High School, has been working to help feed the hungry in her community since 2012 and last year co-founded a nonprofit organization that raises funds and food donations for local and international groups that fight hunger. Srishti began volunteering in first grade when she joined friends and family members to cook and package food for people in need. “I mostly saw it as a way to have fun,” she said. But one day when she and her father were at the post office, they noticed a mother and her two small children standing in the cold with a bundle of belongings at their feet. “We offered them food and the grateful looks on their faces made me realize that what I might consider to be small may mean something more to someone else,” said Srishti.
Although she continued volunteering at local food banks and food packaging centers, a trip to India in 2019 convinced her that she needed to make a bigger impact on hunger, both at home and abroad. To do that, she collaborated with her sister to launch a nonprofit called “Food4Thought Foundation.” As co-president of the foundation, Srishti helps raise money, conduct food drives and maintain a website to support a variety of organizations in the U.S. and India that serve the hungry. With the help of other volunteers, Srishti’s foundation has provided food bundles to people affected by storms in India, cooked and served meals at homeless shelters, organized food drives, and donated money for other aid projects. Srishti has also packed thousands of meals for distribution to food banks through other volunteer work.