Afterschool program helps Salvation ArmyIn an effort to help re-stock the shelves at The Salvation Army of Jamestown’s food pantry, local elementary school students took part in a community service project in downtown Jamestown Friday.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun
In an effort to help re-stock the shelves at The Salvation Army of Jamestown’s food pantry, local elementary school students took part in a community service project in downtown Jamestown Friday.
Sixty students from Jamestown elementary schools, as part of the summer portion of the 21st Century Afterschool Program, spent more than an hour collecting food and donations from downtown businesses.
“We try to do a community service project each year to help out the Jamestown area community,” said Shelley Mansavage, site director for the 21st Century Afterschool Program. “Our theme this year was ‘Mission Possible.’”
This marks the second year the afterschool program partnered with downtown Jamestown businesses for a project. This year, employees from various businesses were asked to bring items that were needed for the shelves at The Salvation Army’s food pantry.
Those items included canned fruit and soup and toothbrushes and disposable razors.
The students then went around to the businesses and collected the items, eventually bringing them to The Salvation Army.
“In addition to the items donated, the downtown businesses donated $250,” said Lt. Mitch Brecto, corps officer with The Salvation Army of Jamestown.
Brecto said the project brought in 250 pounds of food, which included each of the 60 students’ donations of at least one item — which they were asked to do for the project as well.
“The kids did a good thing here today,” Brecto said. “They’re showing that even a child can make an impact, and these children are especially helping us meet the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of our community.”
Brecto said this is a timely project, considering summertime is when The Salvation Army’s food pantry is in the greatest demand.
“Unfortunately summer is also the time when we see our food donation totals dip quite a bit, so something like this really does help us,” he said.
Friday also marked the end of this year’s 10-week summer afterschool program.
Mansavage said the community service project is a positive way to end the experience.
“It’s so much fun and the businesses were great. But more than that, it’s nice to show the kids what you can do for a community by coming together, and I think they were able to see that with their efforts today,” she said.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at email@example.com