Students circle wagons for Halloween ‘foodraiser’A group of high school juniors and seniors decided that they’re definitely not too old to don costumes on Halloween and pull their wagons around for trick or treating.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
A group of high school juniors and seniors decided that they’re definitely not too old to don costumes on Halloween and pull their wagons around for trick or treating.
They’ll be trying to spook hunger out of River Falls with a “foodraiser” 6-8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 31, in the west-of-the-city neighborhood of Rocky Branch Elementary, mostly along Bartosh Lane.
They’ll collect non-perishable food items to donate plus provide safety patrols at three locations: Rocky Branch Elementary, 1415 S. Bartosh Lane; at the intersection of Bartosh and High Ridge Road; and at the intersection of Bartosh and Jefferson streets.
The project aims for enough people participating that they can also organize groups of trick-or-treating volunteers — even outside their class — to knock on doors in the neighborhood and collect food donations.
“And we’ll all be in costume,” said senior Meghan Erickson, who with classmate Alex Connor, explained the foodraiser concept.
The collected goods will go to the Kinnickinnic Backpack program, sponsored by Our Neighbors’ Place, the Salvation Army, the River Falls Community Food Pantry and the River Falls School District.
They said the group hopes to place additional donation receptacles out before Halloween.
Students recently began contacting businesses about “hosting” a bin or box. The class encourages donating non-perishable food items like canned fruits and vegetables, tuna, cereal, dry food and boxed products.
Erickson said, “The lesson that started the project was social responsibility.”
She and Connor explained that they’re in teacher Steve Trudeau’s nine-week business management class, which involves doing a group project. The class generally includes a broad view of business, economics, and management and how they apply it in the real world.
The girls say Trudeau suggested a project that would give back to the community.
The class then began gathering ideas about three weeks ago. They listed each thought on the board then worked together deciding which ones would not work.
After settling on the foodraiser concept and picking a charity it would benefit, everyone got to work, developing a flyer, studying maps and noting additional to-do items as they arose.
Connor and Erickson said they chose the Rocky Branch neighborhood because of its proximity to the high school, where students will take all the food before delivering it.
They say any items the Kinnickinnic Backpack Program can’t use will be taken to the River Falls Food Pantry.
A visit to the business class Friday revealed students planning to coordinate with Rocky Branch’s principal, Chuck Eaton; figuring out what they can use as collection bins; deciding what time to meet and where; and planning how to transport the trick-or-treat goods once they have them.
One student began composing an email to Eaton. Another student said she’d just moved and has lots of sturdy boxes. Others called out that they could drive and load items into their vehicles.
Students also strategized how to get more copies of their flyer, right down to what paper to use.
Erickson said about the donations, “Anything people can give will be appreciated.”
Asked about specific items, Connor offered, “I know peanut butter, jelly and cereal are good,” adding those are easy foods for young kids to fix.
The class spokeswomen say their class is excited about the project and feels good knowing it will result in fewer kids going hungry.
The Kinnickinnic Backpack Program sends food home with kids on weekends and during other times when they don’t have access to resources like the free and reduced-price school lunches.
Learn more about it online at a href="http://www.ourneighborsplace">www.ourneighborsplace and click on the Kinnickinnic Backpack Program.