Juniors win award after leading community project

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By Abby Carella, Social Media Editor Members of Hand4Hand Global, an organization founded by junior Aditya Sirohi, recently organized a dinner full of international cuisine for those suffering from food insecurity, in downtown Philadelphia. The event, known as Project Taste Diversity, was made possible after Sirohi and his organization won the 2021 Hershey Heartwarming Young...

By Abby Carella, Social Media Editor

Members of Hand4Hand Global, an organization founded by junior Aditya Sirohi, recently organized a dinner full of international cuisine for those suffering from food insecurity, in downtown Philadelphia. The event, known as Project Taste Diversity, was made possible after Sirohi and his organization won the 2021 Hershey Heartwarming Young Heroes Global Youth Service Day Grant.

Sirohi established Hand4Hand in August 2020 after joining a [email protected] group with fellow member, junior Deepthi Sathyanarayana, in which they held discussions about topics such as poverty, self-entrepreneurship and the environment. Working with the TEDx group sparked a desire to go beyond simply speaking upon issues.

“I wanted to go above just talking about issues, to a point where I would actually address (the issues) and create an impact in the community and help out those in need,” Sirohi said. “Especially with the pandemic causing so many difficulties, especially for those in under-served communities.”

Although Hand4Hand is run independently from ’Stoga, they often connect with the school to find volunteers and members, which is how they created the rest of their team, which is made up of juniors Elena Schmidt, Shrey Sitaram and Hiroki Yamaguchi. The organization’s name, coined by founder Sirohi, stems from the work they do.

“We’re a community, and we’re helping out others. When you give someone your hand for, say, a handshake, it’s a sign of connection, and you’re representing bonding and support,” Sirohi said.

Over spring break, Sirohi applied to the Hershey grant with an idea to host a large dinner on April 24 in honor of Global Youth Service Day. He planned for the event to be catered by a diverse spread of local families and restaurants with a goal to serve those experiencing food insecurity while simultaneously allowing them to experience different cultures through the cuisine offered. Hand4Hand won the grant and partnered with local Philadelphia nonprofit Doing Our Part Eclectically to make the event a success.

After winning the grant, the Hand4Hand team began a weeklong drive to collect materials and food for the dinner. They reached out to neighbors, friends and local restaurants, including DanDan and Toninos, asking them to donate food to the cause. After reaching out to the community, the team made dozens of sandwiches with the grant money.

Along with sandwich materials like peanut butter and jelly, Hand4Hand used the grant money to purchase paper plates, towels and to-go containers to ensure the event followed COVID-19 protocols.

Hand4Hand works to spread word of their drives through networking and community connections; social media outlets such as @hand4handglobal on Instagram; and their parents, who help reach out to their own friends to donate food.

Looking back on Project Taste Diversity and the importance of their work, Sirohi recalls a striking encounter with a previously-homeless man who approached him at the table.

“He came up to us and was like, ‘Are you guys serving fresh food? Is this free?’ We said yes, and he started explaining how when he had been homeless, these meals that were handed out had helped him get through so many nights, especially when it was colder, and just provided a sense of security,” Sirohi said. “He just kept on repeating how much of a blessing this was and how great of a work we were doing.”


Abby Carella can be reached at [email protected]

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