School District of New Berlin News

Information for the New Berlin community on school district news, events, and celebrations of success.

Elmwood Staff Helps the Hunger Task Force

Armed with jars of peanut butter, staff at Elmwood Elementary School joined forces on Saturday morning to help sort food at the Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee.

In just three hours they sorted 14,000 pounds of food.

"It's just really a great time and for a wonderful cause," said Nichole Donahue, an Elmwood third grade teacher who coordinated the staff volunteer event.

"Yes, we all have obligations, but we're just trying to give back to the community."

Elmwood Principal Royce Lindner and Associate Principal Meghan Lippold not only talked the event up in the school — but they attended as well. In all, 29 staff members came, from teachers and support staff to administrators and even a few retirees and student alums.

They started the morning by meeting for breakfast. Everyone brought at least one jar of peanut butter to donate to the Hunger Task Force's Peanut Butter Drive (the agency is trying to raise 100,000 jars.)

Then it was off to the food warehouse, where they assembled along conveyor belts. Some staff members loaded the conveyor with food from boxes and bags (even standing in oversized boxes to get the last items removed). Others grabbed and labeled the categories of food, making sure nothing was open or expired.

They had 15 minutes of training before they were off and running as a team. 

Donahue came up with the idea after visiting the Hunger Task Force's food sort operation with a group of autistic teenagers she counsels. "I was just amazed at how much fun we had there, they were laughing and just some comaraderie," she said.

Saturday's volunteer event was contagious.

Donahue said Elmwood staff members now plan to do more. They're going to:

  • Have a staff peanut butter drive to help the Hunger Task Force each its goal of collecting 100,000 jars 
  • Volunteer at the Hunger Task Force's farm in Franklin this spring

To see more photos of the food sort event, check out the gallery on the School District of New Berlin's Facebook page. 

Elmwood Elementary School staff plan a oeanut butter drive for the Hunger Task Force

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