WEST ORANGE, NJ - Once the police barricades were placed at the corners of Main Street and Franklin Avenues and Officers Scott Smarsh and Tom Carroll stood at the ready, the Eighth Annual Washington Elementary School Human Chain began forming from the entrance of Washington School, stretching all the way inside the Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry.
The students of Washington Elementary School, along with the Fifth Grade Student Council, collected a record-breaking 1033 items for the Food Pantry. The Student council collected items from the students and staff from February until the end of March. From 1:30 until 2:15 students in Grades 3-5 passed soups and canned goods hand over hand until it reached its destination on the shelves of the food pantry. Kindergarten through Second grade brought items directly into the pantry.
The event is always a highlight of the year for food pantry volunteers, who look forward to their special 'visit' each year. "It's a pretty amazing thing to see," said Food Pantry Administrator Cynthia Cumming. "From the littlest ones to the Fifth graders, they all get seem to enjoy this so much, and we love having them. The West Orange Schools have always gone above and beyond to help us out, and we're very humbled."
The Student Council is already looking forward to planning out next year's drive, with the help of Linda Perna, Washington teacher and the food drive organizer, along with Jen Tarullo and Principal Marie DeMaio.