MLC School Student Food Drive

27 Nov 2023
We spoke to Richelle, one of the teachers from MLC School, about hosting a Food Drive.

What was it about the Rev Bill Crews Foundation that sparked the schools interest? 
The Rev Bill Crews Foundation, a United Church charity, works tirelessly to extend a helping hand to those who require assistance, particularly in the form of providing food and essentials goods to rebuild their lives, the foundation’s dedication to making a meaningful difference in our community aligns perfectly with the values we hold dear at MLC School. Our Senior School has already been actively supporting this foundation and we wanted to provide our Junior School students with the opportunity to join in this tradition of compassion and giving.  
Did the students enjoy getting involved? 
 At MLC School we believe that it is essential to instil a sense of giving and service in our students. To this end, we proposed a unique approach to running a food drive. For each food item donated, we asked the girls to provide a service at home, in return for the item of food. This could be anything from emptying the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, reading a book to a sibling or collecting the mail. This gesture was to not only foster a strong sense of empathy but also reinforce the importance of giving back to the community.  
In addition to these acts of kindness, we planned a reflective moment for our students. At the culmination of the food drive the girls participated in a whole school picnic to reflect on the lives of those less fortunate than us and celebrate the kindness and compassion that was shown throughout the food drive. 
Our Year 5 service captains were instrumental in running the food drive, as leaders they addressed the students at morning meetings to encourage participation and led the assembly asking the girls to reflect on what kindness and compassion are.
Every year group got involved from Pre K to Year 5. Our students collected over 2000 items of food and raised $1455.30. A palpable excitement filled the school as the girls exchanged tales of the kind deeds they had undertaken. They eagerly discussed the impact of their actions, posing thoughtful questions about how the collected food could contribute to helping others. Their commitment was evident as they wholeheartedly dedicated themselves to gathering as many items as possible.  
Tell us about how the students so beautifully decorated the boxes of donations! 
As part of our learning, we wanted the girls to think about what kindness and compassion means and how it contributes to our personal growth. We asked the classes to decorate their box focusing on the theme of kindness and compassion. We also asked each student to record (on a leaf) any acts of kindness they carried out or received during the period. We used the leaves to build a tree of kindness that stood in our entrance, to remind the girls of the value of kindness and compassion. The tree visually demonstrated that from little things, big things grow.  
Do you have any tips for schools who are interested in hosting a Food Drive? 
Use it as an opportunity to instil your school wide values and teach the students the value of kindness and compassion.