GALLIPOLIS — Washington Elementary students are giving back to the community by supporting the food pantry at Grace United Methodist Church.
For the past week classes have been competing to collect non-perishable food items that will help GUMC help the community. Each day was themed differently so that students would bring in a variety of food items; green day for green vegetables, orange day had students bringing in orange food items and fruits.
The school was able to fill up an entire truck bed with food that was picked up Friday morning by church members. Washington has been giving food to local organizations like Grace for over ten years, and supporting GUMC for the last five.
“Ann Sickels used to work here and she was a big part of our school,” said Megan Neal, teacher at Washington. “She went to their church too.”
The annual donations by Washington students have helped support Grace in their mission to feed the hungry and help the needy. Their pantry started 15 years ago serving Gallia County residents. They started with just a few jars of baby food, and the youth group went around town with a shopping cart going door to door asking for donations.
“We could not do this without the community support,” said Linda Sager, a member at Grace. “Our church is good about giving donations but it is the community that donates and brings in the food.”
While the church seeks to help those in need, the students learn an important lesson by giving back.
“It helps them to realize that other people aren’t as fortunate as you are, be thankful for what you have,” said Neal. “We talk about how others aren’t as fortunate and do not have a Thanksgiving dinner.”
The GUMC food pantry is open every Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. until noon. People seeking help are required to bring in some form of proof of address, which is the only qualification.
To learn more about Grace and its outreach, call them at 740-446-0555. Grace is located at 600 Second Avenue, Gallipolis.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.