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Greenfield School students donated a ton of food — literally — and $800 in cash to the Community Soup Kitchen of Wilson County last week.
Students, families and teachers had collected the goods over a three-week period in a project organized by the school’s Community Service Club.
Laura Crudup, a teacher and organizer who also attends St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, said this is the eighth year the project has taken place.
“We were looking for something to help the community, so we tried it, and it worked out to be something that children enjoyed and families enjoyed and they were willing to participate in,” Crudup said. “We talk about people who don’t have lunch every day and can come here. I feel like just about all of our students participated this year to try to show that we care and we want to help others.”
Beth Peters, head of school, watched as the students unloaded the cans and boxes from a trailer and a school bus.
“This is a club that students elect to join,” Peters said. “They don’t have to be in it for any reason. It’s a service club. So the fact that they volunteered to be in this club and do this volume of food is pretty amazing. It goes along with our mission of reaching out to others in service, and under Ms. Crudup’s guidance, she is modeling for them what it means to give back to your community.”
“It makes me happy that we can share our kindness with them,” said eighth-grader Sherry Wang.
Chloe Howard, a seventh-grader, said it wasn’t hard to entice students to give.
“You just tell the school, and they bring it because you can save lives and help other people,” Chloe said. “It says that we are a caring people, and we care about others. We brought cans for the people who were not able to buy food.”
Brenner Cobb, an eighth-grader, said the club put out a message to the entire school and students responded.
“They brought in canned goods, peanut butter and all. We said it on the announcements, and this is our response. Everybody brought in all this stuff,” Brenner said. “It shows that we care about the community and want to help others in the community. I participated last year as well. I think this is great. It’s probably just as much as last year or maybe a little more.”
Eighth-grader Carter McLamb said, “It shows that we care about the citizens of Wilson and that they can eat every day.”
“All of us have meals to eat, and some people don’t,” Carter said. “If you receive, you have to give. If you have it and other people don’t, then you have to share.”
Lily Hesse, another eighth-grader participating in the delivery, said it made her happy to know students are making a difference in the community.
“We have helped so much and brought in a lot,” Lily said. “I think we are so lucky to have three meals a day and a roof over our heads, and it feels good to give other people what they need.”
Neill Connor, president of the Community Soup Kitchen of Wilson County board of directors and manager of the soup kitchen’s day-to-day operations, called the donation “a lifesaver.”
“During the summer months, we feed a lot of kids while school is out, and it depletes our inventory,” Connor said. “This comes at just the right time where we can build our inventory up to carry us through the winter months. If it weren’t for this, we would be in bad shape.”
The Community Soup Kitchen feeds the homeless of Wilson and surrounding communities.
“Basically, anyone can come in,” Connor said. We don’t require any ID. We feed anyone who comes in the door.”
The kitchen serves a hot meal Monday through Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.. It is closed Saturdays and Sundays and most holidays.