Today, Ranney students in all three divisions, along with a supportive network of parent volunteers, faculty and staff, teamed up to package 16,000 meals in partnership with Kids Against Hunger, a nonprofit that leverages the strength of decentralized, local volunteer efforts to package large volumes of food for distribution to families in need. Students assembled approximately 2,700 packages in an assembly-line, measuring rice, soy, beans, and spices into a Latin rice mix designed to feed a family of 4-6 one meal. The rice packages will be distributed to children in backpacks by Philabundance, a nonprofit hunger relief organization serving 90,000 people every week in nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Philabundance distributes 8,750 backpacks each month to students who qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches—in fact, in the schools Philabundance serves, all students qualify. To qualify for a free lunch, children must come from families with incomes at or below 130% of the federal poverty level; family incomes of 185% of the federal poverty level qualify for a reduced-fee lunch. Families living at these income levels often face food insecurity, meaning they do not have reliable access to enough affordable and nutritious food to feed their families. Philabundance distributes backpacks to children so that they do not go hungry over the weekend when they cannot access school breakfast or lunch. In addition to the Latin rice Ranney students packaged today, the Philabundance backpacks will include: oatmeal, a tomato basil soup mix, mac & cheese, and fresh produce. Today’s efforts were such a success that we are already planning ahead for next year’s Kids Against Hunger event, when we will set an even higher packaging goal and work with local charities to make an impact even closer to home.
We also made our first delivery of donated food to Lunch Break this afternoon and donated 1,627 pounds of food! The food drive will continue through November 14, so there is still time to donate. Thank you to everyone who has donated already!
Ranney would like to offer a special thank you to the Magnone family, particularly Nicholas Magnone ’26, who first proposed the Kids Against Hunger project to Ranney School, and to the family for underwriting the cost of the food and leading the effort to orchestrate today’s service effort. Thank you to Sandy Wilderotter ’21 and Emily Zimmerman ’21, who are leading R.H.O.P.E.’s efforts to raise funds to support the Students Change Hunger effort in conjunction with our food drive. Thank you to Lucia Zugel ’23, Crosby Collins ’23, Nick Burniewicz ‘23, Brandon Stobie ’23, Lily Aspen ’23, and Lilly Blumenkrantz ’20, Sandy Wilderotter ’21, and Emily Zimmerman ’21, who took a leadership role in making today’s service effort such a success. Thank you to the many parent volunteers, who so generously lent their time to train and support today’s service efforts. Thank you to the faculty who brought their classes to volunteer. Thank you to Kids Against Hunger representative Heather Griesser LaPierre for leading us through this!
And most importantly, thank you to all of the Ranney students who so enthusiastically participated in today’s first Panthers Against Hunger Day of Service. Your efforts have ensured there are 16,000 fewer times when a family in our neighboring community goes hungry over the weekend.