SOUTH BERWICK, MAINE
Collect items for community members in need
By Ralph Morang firstname.lastname@example.org Posted Feb. 10, 2015 @ 7:16 pm
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — As the snow piled up outside Central School, food donations piled up inside.Students celebrated the 100th day of school – a few snow days notwithstanding – by making donations of food and personal care items to the South Berwick Community Food Pantry and End 68 Hours of Hunger. The school has celebrated the 100th day with a community project for 10 years.After a two-hour delay starting school Tuesday, classes gathered in the gymnasium in the afternoon to present their donations. Each classroom had a goal of collecting 100 items to donate. Organizer and teacher Pam Mulcahy said, “It’s been harder because of all the snow days.” But the students did the job. They kept track of donations on thermometer-like charts outside each classroom door.In the gym, towers of paper towels, boxes of tea and piles of toothpaste were in spaces marked out on the floor for each classroom. In one space, ketchup bottles were formed into a heart, in another, mustard bottles formed “104,” the number of bottles collected.In the first-grade wing of the school, Sandra Hoffman’s class fitted themselves with hats labeled “100,” collected their paper products and marched to the gym.Principal Nina D’Aran welcomed the students by telling them, “It’s amazing to see what you have done. Look at the difference you are making”Volunteer David Stansfield of the Food Pantry watched the activity. The South Berwick Food Pantry is part of SoBo Central, the nonprofit organization that engages citizens in community life like Hot Summer Nights, Home for the Holidays and Keeping South Berwick Warm. Stansfield said he suggested that the school also donate to End 68 Hours of Hunger, a private, nonprofit, effort to confront the 68 hours of hunger that some school children experience between the free lunch they receive in school on Friday afternoon and the free breakfast they receive in school on Monday morning. In Eliot and Kittery, over 120 children benefit from the program.Stansfield said he was particularly pleased to get paper products donated because they can’t be purchased with the Maine Food Supplement Program (food stamps).With the bleachers full of parents, the third-grade chorus sang “Make a Difference.”Stansfield told the students, “I don’t need to say more than that song – you make a difference.” A representative of each classroom presented him with a certificate listing the classroom’s donations – ketchup, fruit cups, coffee or grape jam.After the last certificate was presented, everyone stood up to sing the school song, “Big Heart” and then filed out. Some students stayed behind to load vehicles, including Michael Elliott who juggled two or three packs of paper towels.Stansfield said that the South Berwick Community Food Pantry serves 70 to 80 town families each month.The South Berwick Community Food Pantry is located at 47 Ross Street. It is open Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the first and third Fridays of each month from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The telephone number is (207) 384-3310.In Eliot, the program coordinator for End 68 Hours of Hunger is Patricia Foster. The email address is Eliot@end68hoursofhunger.org. In Kittery, the coordinators are Pauli Rines and Kris Lynes; the email address is Kittery@end68hoursofhunger.org.