Cary Preschool Raises More than 100 Pounds of Food

Cary, NC – School is often about more than teaching math, science and how to read. It can impart skills and lessons. And one local school taught its students through a food drive that raised more than 100 pounds for Triangle hunger relief.

Fighting Food Insecurity

Chesterbrook Academy Preschool Preston is a Cary preschool that ran a food drive for Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Specifically, these were donations for Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s “BackPack Buddies” program, which gets food to children for the weekend when they would not be able to get week-day lunch through their school.

In their food drive, Chesterbrook raised more than 100 pounds of food for Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. In the 2015-2016 school year, 2,024 children across seven counties received food through BackPack Buddies program.

Tawni Connor, Chesterbrook’s principal, attributed the large donation from the school to the “altruistic” parents.

“Whenever we have a cause we’re passionate about, we reach out to our parents and they’re always happy to help,” Connor said.

According to North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction, in the 2014-2015 school year, more than 36 percent of students in Wake County applied for free and reduced lunches from their schools.

Character Education

Chesterbrook has held similar drives in recent years, for groups such as Lab Rescue and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Connor said these events also helps the school do what she called character education.

“You explain in simple terms what you’re doing and how you want to help,” Connor said. “For example, we said some people don’t have as many Cheerios as us and we want them to have more Cheerios.”

Connor said it’s also important to have parents at home who feel the same and can reinforce those lessons and help their children understand.

“If it weren’t for the parents, this would fall on deaf ears,” Connor said.

As the drive went on, Connor said she saw the work the food drive was doing reflected in the students.

“When they were bringing in food, they were excited about it,” Connor said. “They took pride in helping.”

Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Chesterbrook Academy Preschool Preston.