The fall food drive at St. Teresa Catholic school in Elmira was not only a chance to help others, but a learning experience for students.
The classes got competitive about collecting food, making it fun for the kids while teachers used it to teach math skills.
Principle Amy Flynn said she was thrilled by the amount the small school was able to raise through the effort: the kids last week collected 2,665 items for the food bank.
“We’ve been doing a food drive in partnership with the local funeral home. We’re a small school, so we only have 200 kids here. They’ve been doing a friendly competition we’ve been doing some math with the items that we’ve been collecting – the funeral home is giving a pizza party to the first class who collects the most, and then we have a STEM project for the second class; we have an extra recess for the third class,” said Flynn.
“We always try to support our local charities. In the past we’ve always donated to the Woolwich food bank. Usually, we’ve done it in the past on our own, but this year the funeral home reached out to us and asked if we wanted to do something extra fun, and that they would support it with a pizza party.”
The Elmira school kids eagerly brought the canned goods and non-perishables out of the school, loading them onto a trailer destined for the Dreisinger Funeral Home to take to the food bank. All participants remained socially distanced and wore masks while lifting the boxes they had happily filled. Since it was October 29, many of the kids wore their Halloween costumes.
“Kids are amazing – we don’t give them enough credit. I know they’re very motivated by pizza; we thought if we through a pizza party that they’d do a good job, but they have exceeded every one of our expectations. We just wanted to overwhelm Woolwich community food bank, and I think we’ve done that,” said Becky Steckly, owner of Dreisinger Funeral Home in Elmira, who helped provide the prizes for the school.
The company also hosted a food drive out of Food Basics last Saturday. Steckly said they will be providing more money for community programs and charity initiatives going forward.