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Wood River Middle School Students Donate a Ton of Food to Hunger Coalition

The deal was simple. If Wood River Middle School students could raise one ton of food for The Hunger Coalition by October 20, they would have a chance to “pie” their teachers and principal. 

The students stepped up in a big way, bringing in a total of more than 2,418 pounds of canned goods over the 20-day campaign. They celebrated the achievement with a pie party, during which students selected through a raffle were able to collect on the deal.

Mr. Rob Ditch, Wood River Middle School Principal, and the teachers were happy to follow through on their commitment. 

“I am so incredibly proud of our students for the effort they put forth to support their fellow community members during what is such a difficult time,” said Mr. Ditch. “This is a school community that truly cares about one another and doing the right thing. It was a lot of fun to celebrate with our students and let them reap the reward of all their fantastic work over the past few weeks.”

The food drive, dubbed “The Hunger Games,” was spearheaded by sixth-grade leadership students and teachers Melanie Bemis and Dan Gralenski. Each student in the school was challenged to bring three pounds of food to donate. They received a raffle ticket for each pound they donated, placing their name in a drawing to pie the principal and teachers.

The WRMS sixth-grade leadership class, composed of nine students, worked hard to make a booth for students to check in their canned food at the beginning of each school day. They also ensured each advisory class had boxes marked with a “WRMS Hunger Games” logo to collect food by classroom. Leadership students promoted the event, encouraged students and staff with reminder notes, collected food from advisory classes and posted a regular “leaderboard” in the school news twice a week.

The sixth-grade class raised the most food with 922 pounds, followed by seventh grade with 773.5 pounds and eighth grade with 669 pounds.

At halftime of the final eighth-grade WRMS football game, student spectators gathered around the field to see if their name would be drawn from the raffle. Ultimately, Mr. Carr, WRMS Spanish teacher and football coach, was pied by one of his football players. Ms. Bemis, the leadership teacher who facilitated the project, was pied by one of her seventh-grade leadership students. Mr. Gralenski and Mr. Ditch were pied by sixth-grade students.

The food raised through the effort will be delivered to The Hunger Coalition by the sixth-grade leadership class on November 4.