Students Stretch Dollars for Food Pantry

May 11, 2023

Students Stretch Dollars for Food Pantry

A group of 7th graders recently went above and beyond for the Kosher Food Pantry (KFP).

The curriculum for BT Lab, B’nai Torah's Sunday School students of bar/bat mitzvah age includes monthly excursions into the Jewish community. The group came to JF&CS to tour the Kosher Food Pantry with Community and Partnership Outreach Officer Stacy Fialkow. Students learned about the program and how it meets the needs of the community.

The learning didn’t stop after the tour, though.

“We all piled into the car and had some extra time before the kids needed to be picked up,” said chaperone Michelle Michelman. “The kids were talking amongst themselves about how the pantry was missing items. I mentioned that we could go to the (grocery) store. I wasn’t sure how they would respond, but they were really excited!”

What followed was a lesson in shopping and stretching a dollar. Michelle sponsored the trip to Kroger, setting a budget of $50. She set up some parameters: items needed to be a BOGO or coupon deal, on the KFP list of needs, or something that the kids noticed being low in stock during the tour.

The kids immediately sprang into action. One student got on the JF&CS website to see what foods were needed, another searched the Kroger website for coupons, and a third took notes as everyone recalled what was missing in the pantry.

“They learned a lot about shopping and planning meals that day,” said Michelle. “They saw that sometimes the BOGO items were more expensive per item than other brands, so they used calculators to figure out the best deals per item. They also thought ‘big picture’: if there is red sauce, is there also pasta? If we get canned tuna, can we also get peas and egg noodles so someone can make a tuna casserole?”

The students shopped strategically, filling gaps so that clients of the KFP had the supplies to cook complete meals. In the end, they bought enough with their $50 budget to feed an estimated 30-40 people.

“They thought it was cool to learn about a need, see what was being done, and fill the missing link,” said Michelle. “One student had $20 and wanted to give it and was amazed at how far it went. It was eye opening to them that even a small amount of money could go so far. You don’t have to be a million-dollar donor to make a difference.”

Interested in helping to stock the food pantry? View our list of needed items or order off our Amazon Wishlist.