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MMS collects food, money, for RF food pantry

Meyer Middle School students and staff present donations of money and food to the River Falls Community Food Pantry. Photo courtesy of Meyer Middle School.

Meyer Middle School students each year are encouraged to contribute to their own success while helping others every day. They are advised to:

• Be an active listener.

• Do your best.

• Be kind to others.

• Have fun

Keeping true to this, MMS students battled hunger, participating in the annual food drive and penny wars to benefit the River Falls Community Food Pantry.

Each day, students learned about the food pantry, what it does and who it serves. Students learned that donating food and personal care items is a great way to help out the community. They also learned the food pantry accepts monetary donations which it uses to stock their shelves with greater purchasing power than the average consumer.

Food pantry workers are able to buy $5 worth of food with every $1 donation they receive.

Students did their part to support the food pantry in different ways:

Food drive

Each TA (homeroom) classroom collected food items the week of Nov. 12-16. The TA with the most items by the end of class Friday morning was rewarded with the opportunity to help out further.

This year the food drive culminated with Mrs. Olson's 6 Blue TA earning the honor of boxing up, loading, delivering, unloading and weighing the collected items. In total, MMS staff and students donated 1,350 pounds of food and personal care items.

Penny war

During the same week, the school also held a "penny war" as a second means of collection. In this competition, each TA competed in their grade levels and different houses. The goal was to raise "positive money" for their classrooms; with pennies and checks counting as positive amounts, and any other coins or bills counting as negative money. The TA classrooms battled it out by bringing positive money for their own jar, while dumping silver coins and bills in the jars of competing TA classrooms. At the end of the penny wars, the TA from each grade level house with the most "positive money," and the highest overall earner, were rewarded with the opportunity to play some battleball games the afternoon before Thanksgiving break.

The winning TA's from the blue house, along with participating staff, competed against the winning TAs and staff from the gold house. It was a great way to cap off the week-long competition, and to celebrate the generosity and tremendous character these students have.

The real winners were the families and community members served by the RFCFP. In total, the students raised an impressive $5,667.01 in five days.

In its sixth year, the annual penny war has raised a grand total of $31,982 that can be put right back into the community.

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