Medina first-graders donate to food pantry at St. Peter’s

Photos by Ginny Kropf: First-grade students at Oak Orchard Elementary School visited the food panty at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church this week to donate items to the pantry. With them are teacher Allison Woodburn, left, and Robin Dubai, head of the food pantry.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 17 June 2022 at 11:26 am

MEDINA – First-grade students from Oak Orchard Elementary School paid a visit to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on Tuesday, where they visited the Food Pantry and donated food items.

First-grade teacher Allison Woodburn said this has become a tradition for the students. One of the first things they learn in first grade is how to count money, so at the beginning of the school year students are asked to bring in small change from home. Throughout the year, students learn about needs and wants.

Sofia, a first-grader at Oak Orchard Elementary School, gives a food item to Robert Torres of Medina.

At Christmas they use some of the money to help people. Last year they bought hats and gloves for the food pantry and for residents of the nursing home. Then they bought toys for a little boy in Middleport who has cancer.

Being children, when they are asked what they want to do with their money. They often name their wants, not needs, Woodburn said.

“We teach them when you show kindness to others, they will be kind to you,” the teacher said. “This year, when we counted the money, we had $51. We made a list of needs and wants and I went shopping. I was able to buy all the needs and had a little extra for their wants.”

There was also money to buy food items, which the children carried in their backpack to the church.

After the students arrived at the church, Robin Dubai, who heads the Food Pantry, handed each child a flag in honor of Flag Day. The flags were provided by local veteran Dave Kusmierczak, a member of the local American Legion and VFW.

Then they went into the church to visit the Food Pantry, where they got to meet a customer, Robert Torres. Several children offered Torres an item from the shelves.

Each child had food items to donate in his backpack, and one-by-one, they took out their items and offered them to Torres. He accepted canned vegetables, a cake mix, juice and applesauce. The rest of the donations went on the shelves, ready to be given to other less fortunate families.

Woodburn said they call their activity the “Kindness Counts Project.”

Before they left to return to school, Dubai gave each child a popsicle.