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Local schools collecting items for food bank

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Elementary students in and around Huntsville are helping to feed a local need.

Huntsville Public School (HPS), Spruce Glen, Irwin Memorial, Muskoka Montessori, Muskoka Highlands Academy, and Muskoka Christian School have been gathering food items since the start of October to donate to The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation.

“Kids from different classes are bringing in food items, and the students are helping to gather them,” says Sarah Thatcher, a French teacher at HPS who organized the drive. “They know there’s a healthy competition going on, so they also feel a little bit challenged to contribute this year, too.”

With the students sorting the food, Thatcher says it’s been a good opportunity to throw in some math practice. Although some children might be less than enthusiastic about math work, she says the kids have been quite receptive.

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“Actually, they did really well, it was a lot of fun. They had to group the cans and the food items in groups of 10, and then we found out how many groups of 10 there were,” says Thatcher. “As of right now, HPS has 20 groups of 10 food items. So your listeners can figure out that math, too.”

Thatcher adds that this time of year is when people need food banks the most, something that has been compounded by the pandemic.

“I think because of COVID, we have increased usage of The Table and all food banks in the area, and just families who are struggling in ways that they maybe hadn’t before,” says Thatcher. “It’s really important to expose the students to the fact that all families have different needs from ours, so if we’re in the position to be able to help, then we are privileged to do that.”

Thatcher says the schools will take food donations until the end of the day on November 1st, with the items going to The Table within a few days. Residents can drop off food items at the main office of any of the schools or give them directly to The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation.

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