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Willsboro students make food chain to pantry

Willsboro Central School kindergarteners Jenna Stainken and Sonny Valachovic pass food down the line from the school to the Willsboro and Essex food pantry, located at the Willsboro town hall. Students in all classes formed the line to deliver food collected by students to the pantry.

Willsboro Central School kindergarteners Jenna Stainken and Sonny Valachovic pass food down the line from the school to the Willsboro and Essex food pantry, located at the Willsboro town hall. Students in all classes formed the line to deliver food collected by students to the pantry. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Students at Willsboro Central School took time away from the books and classroom Dec. 12, opting to help their community.

Students from every class — pre-kindergarten to seniors — formed a line that started at the school and ended at the Willsboro Town Hall, site of the Willsboro and Essex Community Food Pantry.

Students then started passing food, one to another, from the school’s location just off Farrell Road, past the Evergreen senior living center, Smith House Health Center, behind the Willsboro Volunteer Fire Department, into the town hall, down the stairs and into the basement, the home of the pantry.

“This is the culmination of the food drive that we had throughout the school,” Superintendent Stephen Broadwell said. “It is a great chance for the kids to give back to the community and those who need help in an unique way.”

Marie Blatchley, advisor to the College For Every Student (CFES) Class, said that the idea for a food drive came about after receiving a letter from the pantry about the need for help.

“Since the community is so good at supporting all of the groups and organizations that are in this school, CFES and the Key Club jumped on this to make it a school-wide opportunity to help.”

The school held the food drive for two weeks, with the classes that collected the most amount of food (10th grade homeroom and Mrs. Valachovic’s sixth grade) earning a prize.

Once the food was collected, the two groups looked for a way to get the food to the pantry.

“We are so close to the town hall, and we felt that since every student in the school helped to collect the food, every student should have a hand in bringing it over,” Blatchley said. “Mr. Broadwell was very supportive of the idea the moment we presented it to him, and the students did a lot of work to figure out how many feet we needed to cover and how many people were needed for the chain.”

Food items started in the hands of the youngest students, making its way through a line of elementary students from the school to Farrell Road, where teachers walked boxes across the road and into the hands of middle and high school students, who continued to hand the items down the line and into the food pantry.

“A lot of parents said that the kids were really excited to help,” said Bev Moran, who helps manage the pantry.

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