Lenihan Food Drive again a big success

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS — Members of Lenihan Intermediate School’s Ricochet student leadership group recently led a food drive and donated the proceeds to the Emergency Food Box in Marshalltown, where they are pictured, and the Salvation Army. They took in nearly 1,000 canned and boxed items. Natalie Sanchez.JPGLenihan sixth grader Natalie Sanchez poses for a photo at the school’s food pantry.

It’s hard to spend much time in Marshalltown and not hear about the amount of need within the community, but luckily, lots of local groups and individuals come together to make sure no one goes hungry during the holidays.

The students and staff at Lenihan Intermediate School are one of those groups, and this year, they took in nearly 1,000 items to donate to the Emergency Food Box and the Salvation Army.

“It was pretty cool. I was pretty impressed with the kids, and they really got into it,” Fifth Grade Teacher Julie Finch said.

Although they didn’t quite hit their goal, which was 1,000, Finch and Lenihan Associate Principal Liz Jurgensen were still proud of the outcome.

“I think giving back and providing that opportunity to (see) how that makes you feel and what it does for others is important,” Jurgensen said.

Lenihan sixth grader Natalie Sanchez poses for a photo at the school’s food pantry.

The student leadership group Ricochet, which meets twice a month, coordinated the drive, and students brought their items in during the week of Nov. 7-10. Jurgensen has been excited to watch Ricochet grow, and it is now being replicated at Miller Middle School.

“It’s invaluable for them to have that opportunity to be able to learn about leadership (and) be able to provide service learning projects. And those projects have been at our school level, at the community level and our state level,” she said.

Finch said it can be hard for students to conceptualize realities like the rising cost of groceries, but they know they want food on their dinner tables each night. Two students also received free turkeys for their contributions through a raffle made possible by a donation from Lenihan Principal Kyle Young, and one was kind enough to donate it back to the Emergency Food Box.

“They were so impressive. They just worked hard. They were on time. They showed up. They were kind, and it was sweet,” Finch said. “The day that we went to the Emergency Food Box, of course it’s freezing cold out, and we had a lot of food to move. And they were just fabulous. They were thrilled to be there. They were just awesome. They’re just great kids, so we were really proud of them and how they behaved and represented Lenihan.”

In addition to more concrete lessons about working together, collecting items and dispersing them to where they’re supposed to go, Finch hopes students will help others, and someday, that karma will come back to them when they need assistance in the future.

Ricochet is planning several more service projects throughout the remainder of the school year.

“We’re just trying to make sure the kids have fun while working as a group towards a cause,” Finch said.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255

or rmaharry@timesrepublican.com


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