Orchard School Library's food drive during the month of October culminated with a visit to the Chittenden Food Shelf to deliver the 1,115 items that were collected from a very thoughtful school community. Ms. Garland’s fifth grade class excitedly displayed the unbelievable final total at a Friday whole school morning meeting. Students were then surprised by an unexpected personal video message of thanks from Newbery Medal winning author, Katherine Applegate, who spearheaded the nationwide effort to raise awareness of childhood hunger. (Fifth graders had been inspired to do the food drive after reading Applegate's new book, Crenshaw, about a young boy who didn't always have enough to eat.)
Working together to load and then unload the bus of countless boxes of donated items at the food shelf inspired this from Carter: “I love thinking of how happy the hungry people will be when they see all the food we donated.” In fact, after weighing all of the boxes, the students learned that the total load was 1130 pounds – over half a ton! Our tour leaders, Anna and Chef Midhat engaged the group with many facts about the food shelf and its beneficiaries. Taste-testing the chef’s specially prepared baked carrots was a delicious way to end the hour-long visit.
In a written reflection after the trip, fifth grader, Molly expressed, “I think that just being a part of something that matters a lot in the world can make a big impact on others and yourself. Having everybody in our school community donate food can show you how much people care and how much people want hunger to stop.” It’s a feeling that is shared by the entire Orchard School community.