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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Madison sixth graders organize drive for Freezin’ for Food

Margaret Hurlberthttps://discovermuscatine.com
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–With Freezin’ for Food well underway, people of all ages have banded together to help collect food for the Salvation Army of Muscatine County’s food pantry. At Madison Elementary School, a quartet of sixth graders has spearheaded a food drive at their school to help some of the community’s youngest members give back to those in need.

Since November, sixth graders Nathan Canada, Sasha Franklin, Avery Houseman, and Gisselle Rubio have met over their lunchtime, under the supervision of their principal, Stephanie Zillig, to plan and carry out their food drive. The students embraced the opportunity to help get food to those in need of it. “It’s a way to help our community and the homeless shelter and even people in our school,” explained Gisselle.

“I want to help others, ” added Sasha.

A true student led project, the four sixth graders have planned and implemented every part of their project themselves. To start, the students created their own flyers to let students and teachers know what kinds of items they could donate, and made a donation box for each classroom. They then announced a goal of collecting 475 cans in total and an incentive of either an extra recess or tech time for students in kindergarten through fifth grade or a hot cocoa party for sixth graders for the one class that collects the most items.

Once students had prepared for the drive, they encouraged everyone at Madison to start bringing in donations. Each day, Avery, Gisselle, and Sasha collect the donations from each room and count them.

They then report the numbers to Nathan, who records them in a spreadsheet that tracks both their overall total as well as the total from each classroom. As of Nov. 18, they found themselves off to a good start, with 334 total items collected. “My job in the food drive is being the accountant and keeping track of all the food and other items kids bring in,” shared Nathan. “I wanted to be a part of it because I feel like it isn’t something a lot of schools do and I just like to help the community.”

On Dec. 10, the final day of Freezin’ for Food, all sixth grade students caught up on their homework will have the opportunity to walk to Hy-Vee and help load their donations into the semi-truck that will transport them to the Salvation Army. “We’re pretty excited to see how we can fill that truck, or help fill the truck, to help the community,” said Zillig.

As Madison students continue to collect items to donate to Freezin’ for Food, the student organizers feel good about the role they have played in leading a successful drive. They also continue to look for other creative ways to keep inspiring their classmates to contribute to this important cause that keeps people in Muscatine fed throughout the year.

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