YSU Honors students help feed more than 100 people while supporting local business

A group of students from the YSU Honors College provided meals for more than 100 people facing food insecurity Sunday evening in partnership with the Dorothy Day House in Youngstown.

Students in the Honors College delivered food from DeChellis Restaurant in New Middletown to the Dorothy Day House, where they packaged and distributed individual meals. Remaining food was donated to the Rescue Mission.

“As President of the Honors Trustees, I can speak on behalf of our entire organization that it was a pleasure to provide support to a local small business through which we were able to support a local organization who tirelessly serves citizens in need,” said Zach Howard, senior majoring in Biology.

Sister Ann McManamon, who runs the Dorothy Day House, said of the YSU honors students’ donation to them, "You offer such generosity, and your meal was superb!"

Despite the pandemic, Dorothy Day has been providing weekly meals to those in need since May 2020, initially feeding 50 people and most recently serving 104. Before COVID-19, Dorothy Day served meals four nights a week.

“While packaging and serving the food, we were reminded of how the partnerships between the community and campus provide benefits for all," said Howard.

Honors students also benefited from the experience of serving others.

“Right when I walked into the home, I knew these wonderful individuals were on a mission to help their community,” said Jennifer Rakowski, sophomore Biochemistry major. “This is truly a love filled home that does tremendous things for the community.”

Students in the YSU Honors College regularly serve the community in a variety of ways, amassing a collective total of approximately 60,000 hours of volunteer service annually. During the pandemic, some students have embraced virtual volunteer opportunities, such as transcribing, virtual tutoring and storytelling, while others have found ways to safely volunteer in person following COVID protocols. More about the Honors College.

The Dorothy Day House of Hospitality, which opened its doors in 2009, promises a warm welcome with the offer of friendship and the promise of respect for everyone who walks through the doors. More about Dorothy Day.