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Resourceful Riverhawks collect food for needy

Rio Norte students gather donations for Hunger Defense Fund of Canyon Country

Posted: May 19, 2008 2:16 a.m.
Updated: July 20, 2008 5:02 a.m.

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A community service group at Rio Norte Junior High called the Resourceful Riverhawks organized a food drive last week, and Friday during brunch they lined up all the food they had collected around the campus quad, with cans of soup and boxes of cereal stretching across the center of campus.

"Look at how much we came together - this is incredible," said Rio Norte teacher Kristen Stauch, who advises the Resourceful Riverhawks along with teachers Annalee Bretthauer and Nancy Phillips. "I can't believe how many cans we were able to collect. It looks amazing."

Resourceful Riverhawks President Audrey Abergel, an eighth grader, said the group's goal was to get enough donations to stretch all the way around the quad. They ended up exceeding their goal, collecting 2,050 food items, all of which will be donated to the Hunger Defense Fund, a food bank in Canyon Country.

"People brought in hundreds of cans, so I think it went really well," Abergel said.

Abergel said the Resourceful Riverhawks do various service projects throughout the year.

"The Hunger Defense Fund, this time of year they don't have very much food, so we decided to help," she said.

Wendi Lancy, community outreach coordinator for the Hunger Defense Fund, was at Rio Norte Friday to pick up the food and said that food donations are especially needed this time of year.

"Our supplies are very, very low, and heading into the summer months, traditionally that's when our supplies are at their lowest, so I really appreciate the kids doing this," Lancy said. "We're grateful for what we get at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we're open 52 weeks a year, so we're trying to reach out to the community and let them know we need donations all year long."

The summer months are difficult for some families, because children do not receive their free school lunches and parents need to prepare more meals, Lancy said.

"This food is going to help tremendously," Lancy said, looking around the campus quad. "I'm seeing boxes of cereal, and we don't have any cold cereal right now."

To make a donation to the Hunger Defense Fund or to volunteer, call Wendi Lancy at (661) 299-9273.

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