By Julie McCay Turner
Lane School’s 2014 Soup-er-Bowl ended this week with a staggering delivery to the Bedford Food Pantry.
Bedford’s Facilities Department arrived at Lane School early on Thursday, February 27, to transport two dozen recycling bins filled with several hundred pounds of non-perishable food to the pantry. Later in the morning, students representing each classroom brought the final hundred or so cans in two trips after school began.
Traveling in Bedford School Department vans with Assistant Principal Keith Kinney and Cheryl Johnston, two teams of students (representing third, fourth and fifth grade classes) visited the pantry, met its founder Peter Gray and helped to stack shelves in the storeroom.
Participants included Third grade students Aiden K., Nora W., Elora S., Liam H., Caitlyn L., Ansh A., and Anayah S.; Fourth grade students Ethan L., Molly G., Allie Z., Kathryn S., Kyle M., and Arek D.; and Fifth grade student Shaan M., Caitlyn S., Jeremy N., Theo N., John C., Robert M., and Nick B.
Pantry founder Peter Grey arrived via the Bedford Local Transit (BLT) van, just as the students began to unload the cans they had brought with them. “I’m overwhelmed,” said Grey in an interview the next day. “We were at the pantry until 6 o’clock yesterday, stocking the shelves with the Lane School donation.”
Grey never imagined when he helped to start the Bedford Food Pantry 23 years ago that his greatest satisfaction would come from the youth who get involved in the program. “We have high school volunteers who come every week to pack bags and help with distribution,” said Grey, “and then there are occasions like this, when younger kids come in and bring such enthusiasm.”
While the Soup-er-Bowl is a once-a-year extravaganza tied to football’s Super Bowl in January, students and families support the Bedford Food Pantry throughout the year.
Lane School’s support of the pantry began in 2012 when fifth grade teacher Molly Maguire and Jenna Larrenaga, former Lane School fourth grade teacher, envisioned a way to bring the larger Bedford community to Lane School. Jamie Hebert has taken Larrenaga’s place; now she and Maguire bring students to the pantry every two weeks to deliver the foodstuffs that are collected in the wagon whose permanent home is in the Lane School hallways. Everyone participates: students, families and staff.
According to Assistant Principal Kinney the project offers life lessons, “that go beyond the wall of our classroom and our own school.”
“This project takes a larger global look at how communities depend on its citizens to stay strong and cohesive- a bond that can’t be measured with words or money,” Kinney continued. “The actions we [take are] very loud in this case! Also, community projects like this measure student success differently than paper and pencil exams or projects. It teaches and measures citizenship, interdependence, collaboration, and global awareness! Our kids, families, and staff are just wonderful,” he concluded.
Learn more about the 2014 Lane School Soup-er Bowl: http://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/2014/01/17/lane-school-announces-2nd-annual-souper-bowl-to-benefit-the-bedford-food-pantry/ or http://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/2014/01/28/a-note-from-the-lane-school-administration/