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Food Bank
Behavioral Science Organization members help sort produce during a recent volunteer stint at Second Harvest Food Bank.

Realizing Central Florida needs all hands on deck to deal with its growling hunger problem, a crew of Beacon College students who are members of the Behavioral Science Organization last week volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando.

Second Harvest, a private, nonprofit outfit, collects, stores and distributes donated food to more than 550 feeding partners in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties. Last year alone, the food bank provided nearly 56 million meals to food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers, and Kids Cafes.

The Behavioral Science group (BSO) — including Shivan Garg, Jasmine Gelman, Shale Arora, Samantha Chavez, Allie Schug, Claire Wilbur, and Matt Conley — pitched in by sorting produce. Dr. A.J. Marsden, an assistant professor of human services and psychology at Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla. and BSO advisor, and former student Caroline Chapin also lent a hand.

Beacon College is a nonprofit liberal arts school and America’s first accredited college or university to award bachelor’s degrees primarily to students who learn differently.

The Behavioral Science Organization and Dr. A.J. Marsden
The Behavioral Science Organization and Dr. A.J. Marsden

Cassandra Bergman, president of the Behavioral Science Organization, said the group was happy to do what it could to help battle the plague of food insecurity throughout the region. Google dictionary defines food insecurity “as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.”

“People who volunteer there support their mission and their mission is very much aligned with the Behavioral Science Organization which is all about helping the community,” Bergman said.