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Community Comes Through for School’s Food Drive

From left: Elisa Newell; Will Eging, 8; Jonathan Newell, 7; Will Newell, a Stone Middle seventh-grader; and Lisa Schilling are at a table with some of the bags they filled.

From left: Elisa Newell; Will Eging, 8; Jonathan Newell, 7; Will Newell, a Stone Middle seventh-grader; and Lisa Schilling are at a table with some of the bags they filled. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

— Since so many students at Centreville Elementary are in need of meals over the weekend, last year the school created a backpack program. On Fridays, these children could go to Centreville’s food-storage area and people would fill their backpacks with weekend snacks.

The program’s continuing this year and the need is greater than ever. So the school partnered with the nearby Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to solicit food donations and prepare weekly food bags for these children.

A call for help also went out to the community, and the residents came through. Saturday morning in Centreville’s cafeteria, they gathered together to deliver and sort the non-perishables that had been requested – items such as cereal, juice boxes, instant macaroni-and-cheese pouches, granola bars and fruit snacks.

And by the time they were through, some 800 food bags had been filled and the school’s food-storage area restocked. Organizing the efforts on Centreville’s end were counselor Lee Kaiser and Assistant Principal Lynn Mayer. Coordinating the church’s participation were Kristy Wolford — whose daughter attends kindergarten at Centreville — plus Enid Smith and Doug LeDoux, with Bishop Bob Walter overseeing.

“We really appreciate the community’s help with this,” said Smith. About 175 church members lent a hand on Saturday, including children. “If you start them young, they’re more likely to volunteer later, and we want our kids to be of service,” said Smith. “As Christians, we want to help the community; and because many of our members come to this school, we wanted to do something locally.”

Centreville’s administration was also grateful. “This is a tremendous effort,” said Mayer. “Some of the participants need help, themselves, but they contributed food, too, so they could help others. This is what community is all about; I was incredibly touched.”