Russell Academy kids donate food by the truckload

You, too, might be amazed at how much food these elementary school kids gathered to help feed the needy. Take a look, and see why they did it‚

The Russell Academy’s 1st grade class collected the most food for the needy. They’re joined by their teaching assistant (sorry, we missed her name), teacher Tammy Hess, and the school’s Food Services supervisor, Rena Mauldin.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Students at Parkrose’s Russell Academy of Academic Achievement celebrated National Nutrition Month throughout the month of March by learning good eating habits.

“In addition to the food education program,” explained Joan Opp, Parkrose School District’s food services manager, “we also wanted to contribute to the needs of our community.”

Russell Academy’s food service supervisor, Rena Mauldin, championed the notion of having a food-collecting contest among the rooms, Opp said.

“Our students asked why we’re doing this food drive,” continued Opp. “This gave us the chance to tell them that some people in our community don’t have enough food to eat. We’re sharing our food with their family.”

Collect a truckload of food
The idea caught on, and soon stockpiles of nonperishable foods were growing.

Tammy Hess’ 1st grade class collected the most. “They worked really hard to bring food for the drive to help food for hungry people,” she said.

A “beep-beep-beep” sound signaled that a large Parkrose School District truck was backing up to the school’s door.

“All of this food will be delivered today,” Mauldin told us. “It’s going to our ‘local’ food bank, Crossroads Cupboard, on NE 102nd. This food resource will stay here in Parkrose, helping Parkrose families.”

Helping move the food into the Crossroads Cupboard, Louise Tatro supervises Parkrose School District workers [behind] John Butler, Al Lanxon.

Warmed by kids’ “good hearts”
At the Crossroads Cupboard, we met the organization’s secretary–volunteer Louise Tatro. “I’ve been working with the food bank for 20 years now. It’s affiliated with Crossroads Christian Church.”

As the men unloaded the truck, Tatro exclaimed, “It is wonderful to get this food. Earlier today, in a two-hour period, we served more than 82 families. The families are large, which means we helped 200 people in total.”

Tatro said this outpouring of food‚ gathered by kids‚ warmed her heart. “It’s wonderful that grade school students do this. Some people think today’s kids are just ‘throwaways’‚ but they are, in fact, good kids. This shows they have good hearts and want to help. We really appreciate the help.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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