Rice Memorial High School students step up to help Salvation Army

Published: May. 31, 2020 at 7:32 AM EDT
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More than a month ago, we told you that the Salvation Army in Burlington was providing free meals to those in need 6 days a week, but a broken stove limited what food staff could cook in-house.

Community members responded making home cooked meals and bringing them to the Salvation Army to be distributed.

That includes a high school whose students got off the computer and into the kitchen.

Every Wednesday afternoon, students from Rice Memorial High School go to the Salvation Army in Burlington.

"It's important to remember that some people aren't as lucky as us and don't have food to eat, so it's important to give back," says student Thomas Dion.

History teacher Sarah Conroy organizes the effort, but on delivery day, she's more like a traffic cop.

"We're trying to mentor the masks, the safe distancing the rubber gloves and teaching people to be able to how to give safely in this new environment in which we find ourselves," says Conroy.

But this venture didn't start with her. It was her students looking for a project to do over spring break.

"One of the pillars at Rice is serving the community, but I think people are here for other than community service hours," she says.

"It's nice that we can help other people in need and just support everyone," says freshman Julia Petralia.

The invitations are expanding each week to include other Rice Students and former ones.

Conroy says the response has been overwhelming.

So far, close to 100 students and their families have participated in the effort. Some more than once.

"I did it one other time and we made a salad," says Dion.

"We have very limited staff, so this helps us a lot. It gets us closer to getting everything done on time, every time," says Cayman Ford of the Salvation Army.

At the end of this Wednesday, 17 lasagnas, 14 salads, breads and deserts were donated to the Salvation Army. Food which will be divided up and distributed to those in need.

"I marvel at the amount of food that's in there now, at the generosity of the kids and their families," says Conroy.

Rice Wednesdays are just another example that in these difficult times, exists plenty of drive to help others.