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posted: 3/7/2014 5:06 PM

Students raise thousand to fight hunger

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  • From left to right, Dr. Jose M. Torres (Superintendent District U-46), Kristi Wisdom (board member), Juan Martinez (board member), Susan Ericson (executive director), Don Hopp (board member), Michelle Frampton (Community Outreach Manager), Mike Warren (board member)

      From left to right, Dr. Jose M. Torres (Superintendent District U-46), Kristi Wisdom (board member), Juan Martinez (board member), Susan Ericson (executive director), Don Hopp (board member), Michelle Frampton (Community Outreach Manager), Mike Warren (board member)
    Courtesy of James Harvey

By Michelle Frampton

Elgin, IL -- Wednesday, March 5 proved to be a spectacular "Champions of Change" celebration. Students and faculty from 14 schools from Elgin Area School District U-46 and Burlington Central Unit District 301 were honored for taking part in Food For Greater Elgin's Change for Hunger Challenge to help hungry families in need. Paired with a corporate sponsor that provides $500 to help maximize each school's efforts, the 14 partnerships raised $14,500, which will feed hundreds of families.

Schools and their sponsors received recognition plaques and celebrated alongside Dr. José M. Torres, Superintendent of District U-46. "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," said Torres.

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Schools and their corporate sponsors who participated in the challenge include: Kenyon Woods Middle School with Lundstom Insurance; Channing Elementary School with Elgin State Bank; Larkin High School with John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc.; Prairie Knolls Middle School with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans; Central Middle School with Heritage Crystal Clean; 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.

Addressing the crowd of more than 75 representatives from schools and business partners, Michelle Frampton, Community Outreach Manager, explained, "You have not only succeeded in collecting change, but you have changed hopelessness into hope, changed what it means to be part of a community, and changed our future by showing the next generations that they can have an impact in their world. Perhaps one day, these future leaders will put an end to hunger. You are all truly Champions of Change."

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 which are children 18 and under. Most of these children are part of District U-46.

"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 stated. "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. It is a magnificent moment when we can say that every penny counts."

Champions of Change Event was graciously sponsored by Republic Services with support from Nick's Pizza and Pub so that every cent raised directly benefited individuals facing hunger hardship.

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