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Kids collect money to feed U46 families in need

Volunteer Lynn Carlsen works Food for Greater Elgfood bank In November 2013. | File~Sun-Times Media

Volunteer Lynn Carlsen works at the Food for Greater Elgin food bank In November 2013. | File~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 7, 2014 12:47PM

ELGIN — Students from 12 schools in District U46 saved their pennies to raise money for families in need as part of Food for Greater Elgin’s Change for Hunger Challenge.

In total, students raised nearly $6,500, which will help feed hundreds of U46 families. Food for Greater Elgin pairs each school with a corporate sponsor that provides $500 to help maximize the efforts, according to a release from the district.

“Change for Hunger is an important educational learning experience for our students because it teaches them about the reality of hunger in our community, and it also inspires them to want to help their neighbors,” Superintendent José Torres said in the release.

Schools and their corporate partners who participated included Kenyon Woods Middle School with Lundstrom Insurance; Channing Elementary School with Elgin State Bank; Larkin High School with John B. Sanfilippo and Son Inc.; Bartlett High School with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans; Highland Elementary with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans; Wayne Elementary with Arthur J. Rogers and Co.; Washington Elementary with Hopp Accounting and Tax; Streamwood High School; South Elgin High School with Wisdom Family Foundation;, Elgin High School with Robert Half International; Abbott Middle School with McGrath Nissan; and Kimball Middle School with Imago.

“Each year, I explain to the students who participate that just 75 cents — three quarters — feeds one person for an entire day because we are able to acquire nutritional food at a greatly reduced cost,” said Michelle Frampton, community outreach manager for Food for Greater Elgin. “It is a magnificent moment when we can say that every penny counts.”

Food for Greater Elgin is a large, client-choice food pantry serving more than 1,200 households per month — equating to more than 5,500 individuals, half of whom are children 18 and under. Many of these children are part of School District U46.

In March, Food for Greater Elgin will host a recognition event to celebrate the students’ accomplishments and will present plaques to each participating school and business sponsor.

“As a first-responder, Food For Greater Elgin stabilizes lives with nutritious food. Change for Hunger is designed for even the smallest donation from a child to have a very large impact,” Frampton said. “Some children who have taken the challenge in the past regularly visit the food pantry with their families. They took such pride in knowing that they too can give back.”

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