In the spirit of Thanksgiving, elementary students collect food for local pantry

On the afternoon of November 21st, several SUVs and a truck departed Wells Elementary School for St. Mary's Ecumenical Food Pantry on Eldridge Road in Wells.  They were on the road to deliver 1,200 non-perishable, packaged food items donated and collected by students.  This delivery was the culmination of a student endeavor guided by a new school initiative.

“This project is part of the Student Leadership Program at WES,” explained WES Principal Kyle Burnell.  “This was their first activity and super successful.  We met our goal of 1,000 items!” 

Teachers Pamela Lear and Karly Moulton manage the Student Leadership Program.  For this first project, they were assisted by intern Jamie Haven.   The students helped with goal setting, communications with school administrators, creating posters, sending notices to parents, receiving food donations, organizing food items into containers, labeling, and inventory tasks. 

According to Lear, the students pulled together quickly to organize a school-wide food drive. “They were incredibly motivated for their first task,” she said.  “I believe they realized we are lucky to live in such a wonderful community.”   Lear also highlighted the school administration for its supporting role.  “We have an amazing administration that allows students to shine in a variety of ways!”

Paul Goyette is one of several long-time volunteers at St. Mary’s and was present to help receive the food delivery. “It’s an amazing thing,” said Goyette who marveled at what the elementary students accomplished and that they had not only reached but exceeded their goal.  Goyette was especially happy to see that the items collected were all non-perishable and popular items that the pantry stocks regularly.

And what did some of the young volunteers think of their community service?  Fourth-grade student Lucie Parker replied, “I feel good about it because we are helping (those) in need and it feels good to help people who don’t have enough money to buy (food).”  Lucas Shaw, also in the fourth grade, added, “It feels good because I just love helping others.”

St. Mary's Ecumenical Food Pantry has existed for over 30 years.   The pantry is open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays except Thanksgiving.  It is located at 236 Eldridge Road in Wells. For more information call (207)646-5605.   

Third, fourth, and multi-grade 3-4 classroom representatives who worked diligently on WES’s Student Leadership Program food drive in the fall of 2023.