By: Mary-Ellen Davis, Staff Writer
Towson’s Center for Student Diversity teamed up with humanity service project #HashtagLunchbag to make and distribute healthy lunches to those in need in the Baltimore area on Oct. 15.
Each lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, a water bottle and an inspirational note to remind those receiving the lunch that someone is thinking of them — that they haven’t been forgotten.
After assembling over 100 lunch bags and writing over 100 inspirational letters, the small group of participants loaded up a university van with bins full of decorated paper bags and headed into Baltimore to hand out the lunches.
#HashtagLunchbag Baltimore assistant manager Christopher Brown, CSD graduate assistant Johanna Ramirez and CSD graduate assistant Yvette Bean led the group. The CSD held the event as part of this month’s Service Saturday.
Brown said that a flyer was the original reason he started volunteering with the organization.
“I was running late for church one day, like, really late,” Brown said. “I figured why go if I was only going to be there for 10 minutes, and I had seen the flyer for an event and decided to go.”
Brown started with volunteering at every event he could, and eventually got promoted to social media manager and later assistant manager.
The #HashtagLunchbag program was founded in Los Angeles by Ajay Relan, Will “JDubb” Smith and JD McElroy in December 2012. The group of friends were looking for a way to give back to the community, so they went to the market to purchase food to make some well-rounded meals for those in need.
After putting together the lunch bags, the group “hit the streets near the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Boardwalk looking for anyone that could use a meal,” according to the program’s website.
Their actions quickly garnered support from friends and family members and rapidly spread across the globe.
#HashtagLunchbag now serves over 100 cities worldwide, and is still growing. The growth of the program also led to the formation of the non-profit organization Living Through Giving Foundation.
#HashtagLunchbag does events frequently, and can be found on most social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The CSD is looking to host another #HashtagLunchbag event in the spring, and both programs are hoping to partner with other universities in order to have a greater impact on Towson and the Baltimore community.