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Lakeside labors to feed the hungry

Lakeside Elementary School recently completed its eighth annual Hunger Can’t Weight food drive with stunning success. The third to fifth grade classes collected more food this year than in any other year to date.

In total, this year the kids collected 2,634 pounds of food which they distributed to the Honesdale Emergency Food Pantry. This food pantry is entirely dependent on community donations to provide its services, and so the efforts of Lakeside students are always a welcome contribution.

Combined with the seven years prior, Lakeside Elementary has a running total of 18,161 pounds of food which its students have given to charity.

Beginning on November 1st, “Hunger Can’t Weight” ran all month long, allowing plenty of time for the children to accumulate their donations for the year.

To help generate the impetus of competition, winning classes from each grade were promised a movie day which will take place on Friday, December 16th. The real spirit of helping the less fortunate, however, is never far from thought.

To really get the kids involved, Lakeside teachers gathered them together every week to weigh what was collected so far. The visual and numerical confirmations of progress goad the kids on and give them a tangible sense of the effect they’re having.

According to drive director and third grade teacher Karen Martin, “It is truly heartwarming to see kids rolling small suitcases filled with food and Moms and Dads dropping cases of canned goods at the office.”

Out of all the participants this year, the three classes who won were: Erin Kilker’s third grade, Lorissa Tarashuck’s fourth grade, and Deborah Diehl’s fifth grade.

As the towers of canned goods grew ever larger, quickly exceeding the physical capabilities of elementary students to handle, Karen employed Julia Cheripko and the Honesdale High School Interact Club, a junior version of the Rotary Club known for numerous community outreach projects, to help pack and deliver the donated food to the pantry.

For all the help and hard work that went into making this year’s food drive successful, Karen would like to thank Lakeside principal Sandy Rickard, Lakeside custodial staff Jim Farrell and Ray Highhouse, and all the students and teachers who took time out of their day to be a part of the program.

She would also like to extend a thanks to Gina Pritchard from Mommy and Me who donated a truck to transport the supplies to and fro, and to Sharon Herzog, the food pantry representative, for helping get all the scheduling in order.