The kindness of a La Grange church has come back to it in multiples after a food drive at La Grange Elementary School collected more than 1,400 items for the church’s food pantry.
First Missionary Baptist Church serves scores of families in the La Grange area from its food pantry and has a long-standing relationship with La Grange Elementary through a program that every weekend sends food home with students in need.
The donated canned goods and other nonperishable items collected by students and staff will help stock the food pantry and furnish meals for the weekend program, called FLOK, or For the Love of Kids. The church also helps students in need at Frink Middle School and North Lenoir High School.
“This is coming right back. It’s local and it’s helping our community,” Elaine Yarbrough, school counselor, said as she looked over the bags and boxes banked up against a Christmas tree in the school lobby.
To encourage donations, the school devised a reward system. Classes earned a PBIS paw for every 10 items donated. Paws are exchanged for classroom rewards through the school’s PBIS program, which encourages positive behavior.
Top rewards went to Ashley Rosencrance’s class with 300 items, Jennifer Sutton’s class with 168 items, Janice Johnson’s class with 125 items and Jamie Moore’s class with 110 items.
“We are so proud of our students, parents, staff and community members who have shown such kindness through their spirit of giving to others,” Yarbrough said. “I would like to thank everyone for their donations and say that every item counts and makes a difference by helping someone in our community.”
John J. Wiggins, pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church, agreed the school had done the community a service.
“Most people who come (to the food pantry) are from right here in La Grange and the surrounding area,” he said. “We serve anywhere from 20 to 40 families a week. That’s not including the number of meals we send home with students at La Grange Elementary and Frink Middle School. We also have a supplemental food pantry at North Lenoir High School in conjunction with the SGA and the music department there.”
This is the fourth year La Grange Elementary has helped stock the church’s food pantry.