Since October, SAINTS has been fortunate enough to be a part of a global mission that combats world hunger and poverty. Last year, as the first Catholic Lasallian high school in the country, SAINTS partnered up with Two Degrees Food, allowing the Academy to start and manage a student-led small business. With every food product sold on campus, Two Degrees commits to giving a meal to a hungry child in East Africa, India, or Haiti in schools, soup kitchens, or clinics. The products are all natural and gluten free snack bars with heritage grains quinoa, chia, and millet. The bars come in the four flavors of Chocolate Banana, Apple Pecan, Cherry Almond, and Chocolate Peanut. Students are often oblivious to how healthy some of the snack bars are; claiming the Chocolate Banana flavor “tastes as good as any other cookie”.

Two students showed their leadership and took on the responsibility of managing a small business on campus – Two Degrees Campus Directors Ishmael Asante (junior) and Kevin Garcia (sophomore). As campus directors, they diligently promoted ending world hunger and they united the campus under one captivating mission. With the cooperation of the SAINTS student body, the Campus Directors are responsible for nearly 1,500 meals given to hungry children in East Africa, India, and Haiti. This achievement coincides with Two Degrees Food’s success of giving over half a million meals through selling bars at well-known markets such as Whole Foods Market.

Ishmael and Kevin decided to use profits from Two Degrees snack bars to support a project to build bathrooms in Batey Monte Coca, Dominican Republic. The project was extremely successful due to the phenomenon over Two Degrees bars – SAINTS has raised enough to build four latrines at a price of over $1,200. Big thanks also to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Pawtucket who contributed to nearly half of the funds. The latrines will provide a sanitary alternative opposing to using sugarcane fields which eventually contaminate the ground pumped water.

Ishmael and Kevin have also been recognized for their entrepreneurship and their service. The two were honored at the Rhode Island State House being the first ever high school recipients of the annual Saint Anthony Good Citizenship Award. Ishmael was also honored at Beta Spring, the renowned accelerator program for launching businesses, being awarded the General Treasurer’s Young Leadership Award by Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo. Ishmael was also awarded the St. Michael’s Book Award and Significant Service Lasallian Youth Award as an upperclassman. He was also inducted into the Pawtucket Teen Hall of Fame, being honored at the Pawtucket Country Club receiving Citations from the State of Rhode Island Speaker of the House and Senators.

President -Principal Mrs. Maryann Donohue-Lynch has stated that she “is very happy Saint Raphael Academy has become involved with Two Degrees”, and that the mission has a “ripple effect”. Campus Directors Ishmael Asante and Kevin Garcia hope that other schools are inspired by the mission and success Two Degrees has on their campus, and decide to build on it by possibly starting a social venture of their own. It looks like Two Degrees has found the answer to the devastating problem of world hunger, and SAINTS is honored to be a part of such a gratifying experience.

For more information about Saint Raphael’s partnership, please contact: Ishmael Asante (Ishmael@mcnpartners.org).

 

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