Fourth graders at Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Roanoke County competed to see which of their two classes could collect the most cans of soup for the annual Soup for Seniors drive, sponsored by the Local Office on Aging (LOA) along with AARP.
In the end, 42 fourth grade students collected an astounding 731 items for the food drive, supplemented by more donations from the school SCA.
The fourth grade teachers who facilitated the project are Lynez Humphries and Heather Evans. The SCA advisor is Wendi Richert.
The food drive began in January just after winter break and continued until mid-February with pick-up of the donations by the LOA.
Mount Pleasant Ellen Walton says she is very proud of the students for their participation in the Soup for Seniors drive and of the staff members who organized the project.
The soup and other items, such as crackers and peanut butter, were then to be taken to a central location at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in North Roanoke for sorting and distribution. This year’s goal was to collect 50,000 cans of soup to be delivered to 3,500 seniors in the community. The priority recipients are homebound Meals on Wheels clients.
According to the LOA, “For many of the recipients, the hot lunch meal they receive is the only meal they have all day. The soup collected helps provide a hot meal on a cold day and also reminds them, in the bleakest part of winter, that the community has not forgotten them. Other recipients include Congregate Meals participants who look to LOA for a hot lunch meal along with socialization; seniors who rely on LOA for transportation to the doctor or grocery store; and seniors who receive LOA’s intense case management services as well as homemaker and personal care services. Our goal also includes providing the filled soup bags to the over 1,500 residents of low-income, independent senior housing as well as seniors who receive assistance from area Departments of Social Services and Goodwill Industries.”
The Soup for Seniors drive and Meals on Wheels program allows seniors to remain in their homes living independently.