At La Scuola International School, the Grade 7 class is embarking on a Community Engagement Project to learn more about community organizations in the mission and the ways we can support their work.
Over the past two months, the class made several trips to the Women’s Building to work with their community food pantry and several more trips to the San Francisco – Marin food bank to support the work in their warehouse. Students had a great experience on each of the trips and we wanted to give you a detailed look at a recent trip as an example of the work they have been doing.
Each of the trips took us to a different food bank site in San Francisco (first the Pennsylvania Warehouse, then the Illinois Warehouse). On a Monday, at the Illinois Warehouse, our task was to pack grocery bags with fresh fruits, vegetables, and non-perishable items, which would be delivered to people around the Bay Area.
When students arrived, they were assigned a specific task. There were students assembling boxes, packing avocados and onions into bags, and even some students breaking down boxes. Everybody had a role to play and everybody was fully engaged in their work. It was an incredible demonstration of collaboration and teamwork, as our students not only worked with one another, but also with the other volunteers (30 people in total). In the end, we packed 694 boxes – over 15,000 lbs of food! – that were delivered later that day to seniors, pregnant individuals, persons with disabilities, and families in need.
Upon returning to the school, the students did a hands-on reflection activity. They were asked to choose an inspiring moment from the visits and to represent it using only colored paper, no pencils or scissors. Students shared what they created and discussed what inspired them about the trips. They talked about the hard work of the people around them, the generosity of the donors that make this work possible, and the significant impact that this work can have on people who might be going through a difficult time in their lives.
Before the pandemic, one in five Bay Area residents was at risk of hunger. Now, we know the need is even greater. Every week, over 53,000 households count on the San Francisco – Marin food bank for food assistance. 60% of what they distribute consists of fresh fruits and vegetables. Interested in learning more about the work of the food bank, here are stories about neighbors whose lives have changed for the better because they can rely on fresh, healthy food and nutrition resources from the food bank.
Middle School teachers Daniela Barrena, Benedetta Liccardo, and Jake Kaplove
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