“Volunteering locally to save children globally.” That’s the Will Work For Food motto.  Since 2008, the entirely student-run organization has been dedicated to reducing childhood malnutrition around the world.  And what’s more remarkable is they’re actually succeeding!

I talked to senior Sylvia Lorenzini, the club’s national Vice President of Marketing, to learn more about Will Work For Food’s mission statement. She explained, “We empower students to be able to double the impact of their service, and help them to connect to larger global issues.”

Basically, the club features a two-part structure.  First, members volunteer in local community service projects and log their hours onto the Will Work For Food website. Friends and family agree to sponsor these hours. Then, Will Work For Food’s partner organization Doctors Without Borders uses all the money raised to send nutritional packs of “PlumpyNut” to malnourished children in Africa.

Will Work For Food

Lorenzini on a recent trip to Africa. Photo courtesy of willworkforfoodblogspot.blogspot.org

“An $80 supply of PlumpyNut is enough to save one child’s life.” Lorenzini says. “So far Will Work For Food has raised a total $80,000 and has saved over 1,000 lives.”

With this record of success, it’s no wonder the organization is getting noticed. UNC and Boston College have opened their own chapters based off the Michigan model. And the Will Work For Food headquarters team, including Lorenzini, was recently invited to the Clinton Global Initiative University. This three-day networking event in Arizona brought together over 1200 students committed to social change, as well as social and political activists such as the Clintons, John McCain, and the founding CEO of Wikipedia.

Will Work For Food

University of Michigan WWFF leaders at the CGIU conference. Photo courtesy of willworkforfoodblog.blogspot.org

Will Work For Food hopes to continue to expand to more universities.  And while raising awareness of global malnutrition, the organization also attempts to alleviate hunger in the nation through its community service projects. The Michigan chapter has teamed up with Ann Arbor’s Food Gatherers to organize neighborhood food drives. Past service events have also included helping clubs such as Challah for Hunger and Circle K.

The next WWFF food drive will take place on April 6 and 12. Contact Chelsea Golub at cgolub@umich.edu if interested in participating. Or check out the WWFF website if you want to learn more about the organization’s global impact and how you can get involved.