Montgomery middle schooler intends to ‘Starve Corona, Feed America’


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What does an eighth grader do over Spring Break, locked inside his home? He resolves to feed America. At least that is what Moksh Desai, a student at Montgomery Upper Middle School, has been doing since last month.

Moksh said he was inundated with COVID-19 coverage and was deeply moved by the thought of millions of people in America who may not have access to a healthy nutritious meal during these times.

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He read that more than 37 million Americans live in households that struggle against hunger and 1.1 million children in New York’s public school system had nowhere to go for food, according to his parents, Devang Desai and Arpita Joshi.

Moksh started exploring different ways to help out and found Feeding America, a national organization that works through a network of local food banks and other programs. Moksh started a fundraiser through Feeding America’s website via Set the Table.

Moksh crafted an appeal letter and posted an educational video in which Trevor Noah interviews the CEO of Feeding America, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. He set a fundraising goal of $20,000.

Moksh then found that Somerset County is served by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and established a GoFundMe page for that as well. He sent emails with links to both his webpages to his school teachers, principal, friends and family.

“Everyone has a good side. Everyone thinks about or wishes to do something good. But we all think about it and then get distracted. All I have done is provided a platform, an outlet, for the goodness of people’s hearts to flow and channelize in the right direction,” Moksh said in the statement.

As of press time, $7,800 was raised for both charities combined.

Moksh has been diligent in tracking the progress, and writes personal thank you”notes to every donor. He said he is “overwhelmed by the response of the community.”

“The positive emotions you feel as you help others will stick with you and hopefully be enough to make this type of work a habit for you as you grow older,” Moksh said, echoing the words of his principal, Cory Delgado.

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