On Nov. 7, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES teacher Kimberly Lobdell’s class from Westview Exceptional Children traveled to Cameron Street Ministries in the city to volunteer.
The 10th-graders spent their first hour working in the Emergency Food Pantry, where families can choose from a wide-variety of non-perishable food items to help make ends meet. They shelved and organized donated cans and packages of food, and moved cases of food from the back to make them more accessible for users. One student carefully inspected a crate of apples to make sure they were all still fresh and delicious.
The second hour, spent in the Kitchen, was the most exciting for the young volunteers. Their team worked together to unload a huge truck of donated food from Wegmans. They put everything away and then stocked the bread cupboard, where guests can get fresh bread to take home. Students also filled a cooler with ready-to-take-home meals. Two students worked under the guidance of kitchen staff members, making the day’s lunch of baked ziti. There were smiles and laughter all around. One of the budding cooks said he hoped to work at his favorite restaurant someday.
Lobdell said, “This experience allowed my students to use their skills to help others in need. We had discussions around why we do this and the purpose of the Kitchen and food pantry. The kids felt good about making a difference. They enjoyed the day and asked when we were going to go back.”
Students will get that chance in December when Westview Exceptional Children participates in Cameron Street’s holiday basket distribution. Our students will help many local families fill their baskets with everything they need for a happy holiday dinner.