Kevin Levine is hoping to teach students about more than science.

Kevin Levine is hoping to teach students about more than science.

The sixth-grade Sells Middle School science teacher is leading an effort to feed families in central Ohio and hopes it will ignite an interest in community service among students.

"I've just been reading more and more articles about food insecurity and there's always a segment of the population using food banks and food pantries and don't know where their next meal is coming from," he said.

The recession is causing a higher usage of food banks, and Levine said he wanted to do something to help and encourage his students to do the same.

"The number of kids going hungry was increasing, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to see if I could get kids to help other kids take care of that problem," he said.

Levine contacted the Mid-Ohio Foodbank with his quest and Food Force was created.

According to Colin Baumgartner, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank director of communications, the organization has a virtual food-drive tool on its website to make projects like Levine's possible.

"One of the neat things we have to offer to anybody ... is the virtual food-drive tool. It's pretty simple for us," Baumgartner said. "He approached the food bank and said, 'I want to help people in central Ohio.'"

The Mid-Ohio Foodbank helped set up the page and Levine provided a message and goal. The website helps Levine get his message out and provides an easy way for people to contribute without leaving home.

"One thing we know is with the economy being the way it is, pretty much everyone out there knows someone who needs help putting food on the table," Baumgartner said.

The virtual food-drive tool also allows the organizer to set a deadline. Levine plans to hold his food drive for the year.

"Around the holidays there are always food drives going on," he said. "I was hoping this could raise money throughout the year and hopefully grow. I wanted to try to do it for a year-long initiative."

Levine is asking for a "kid-friendly" amount - $12 - and hopes to get 2,000 people to donate. The $12 donations can purchase about $100 of food through the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

"Every $1 donated to the food bank distributes $8 of groceries because we have tremendous buying power," Baumgartner said. "We work with the food industry. ... It works for every $1, so $12 would equate to $96 of groceries."

Levine is hoping to get donations beyond Sells Middle School and the Dublin City School District. The Food Force web page includes an area for children around central Ohio to donate under their school district.

"I'm really trying to get kids to spread this like a virus," he said. "I want to get them excited about it and talk to friends who go to other schools."

Levine lives in Bexley and said his children are trying to recruit their friends.

"I started doing charity work at a very young age," he said. "I hope to inspire kids to get on that lifelong path of helping their community."

For more information or to make a donation, look online at