At the start of the school year during the Month of the Young Adolescent, students learned about the importance of understanding issues related to food insecurity, food deserts, and food waste. Through their research they learned about how different communities can face a multitude of problems centered around food. They decided to commit to a year of service focused on reducing food waste, and assisting those who face food insufficiency.
In the fall, they traveled to Earth Matter NY on Governors Island. There they planted and harvested vegetables for local soup kitchens, fed and cared for chickens, and sifted compost. Next, students conducted a month-long canned food drive for the Hoboken Homeless Shelter, donating over 60 meals. In the winter months, students provided sandwiches for the St. Matthew’s Ministry Lunchtime program. Later in the spring, Seventh Grade participated in a composting workshop while on their overnight trip to Frost Valley, further cementing their understanding of the importance of reducing food waste. Finally, in conjunction with the school’s Rice and Bean drive for those facing food insecurity, Seventh Grade inventoried the donations and calculated that we had received over 140lbs of food donations. This year-long project culminated in students creating digital posters to raise awareness about food insecurity and food waste and advertisements for organizations that can help including Feeding America and Earth Matter NY. Students came away with a newfound understanding of how communities can care for one another in times of need.