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First graders lead campus campaign to feed 100 families

A group of Southwest Campus first-graders Friday presented more than 1,000 cans and packages of food to St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, capping a month-long food drive in which all grades contributed. (See Video)

Church representatives Marvin Griffin and Gilbert Morris hauled away the goods from the campus cafeteria after 5th-grade students helped arrange and organize the items.

Pastor Michael Kwaw Saah-Buckman, a native of Ghana, said the goods will be enough to feed roughly 100 families not only for Thanksgiving but for the Christmas holidays as well.

“We are so grateful,” the pastor said.

Ms. Payne, one of five first grade teachers, said the items included ham, beans, tuna, canned salmon, rice, pasta, baby food, baby milk, canned vegetables, cake mix, powdered and brown sugar, cooking oil, peanut butter and jelly and much more. The food drive was sponsored by first graders as part of their community service project although students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade were invited to pitch in.

Pastor Saah-Buckman said 1,500 families are members of the church and that 90 percent of the people who will receive the food come from low-income households. But he added that no one will be turned away when people come to pick up the goods next week.

The food drive was one in a series of community service projects required for all grades throughout the district.

“It’s important for the first-graders to learn how to give to the community where they live,” said Ms. Campbell, who also teaches first grade.

Ms. Williams, another teacher, echoed those sentiments.

“The students learned that not one, but several people can make a difference in the lives of families by just giving," Ms. Williams said. First grade students from the classes of Ms. Idoko and Ms. Denman also contributed.

The church, located at 4600 Reed Rd., also has active ministries supporting breast cancer awareness, health ministries, prison ministries and disaster planning.

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