Lakewood preschool delivers food to Grafton Pantry

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(Jim Dallke - jdallke@shawmedia.com)
Pre-kindergartners at Chesterbrook Academy in Lakewood deliver food Tuesday to the Grafton Food Pantry. The youngsters donated the food as part of their lesson in being community helpers.

HUNTLEY – Lakewood preschool students learned Tuesday the value of helping the community by delivering food to a local food pantry.

Chesterbrook Academy students gathered food for the past two weeks and delivered it to the Grafton Food Pantry in Huntley.

The donation was part of the students’ lesson in community service, Chesterbrook Principal Sandy Jenner said. “It shows them what being a community helper is, because that’s what we’ve been working on the past few weeks.”

The donations come at a critical time for the Grafton Food Pantry, which is experiencing fewer donations in the thick of winter after an influx of food during the holidays.

“Donations are kind of lean,” said Harriet Ford, a food pantry board member. “At the end of the year, for tax purposes and because it’s the holidays, everyone’s very into it. This time of year, the demand is still there, but donations are a lot leaner than we would like them to be.”

After the students dropped off their donations, Ford showed them around the facility and explained the food pantry’s function. She said she was thrilled the students were able to see the pantry in person.  

“It’s wonderful to have the children involved in this,” Ford said. “We have many schools that do drives … but this is the only school that actually comes to visit.”

Jenner said taking students to the pantry helps them better understand what it means to help the community.

“Bringing them here really gets them to understand what it’s about, where the food is going, and that they’re actually bringing it here and putting it on the shelves,” she said. “Being 4 and 5 years old, they don’t really get it unless they see it.”

This was Chesterbrook’s second annual food drive, and the school plans to continue the tradition.

Grafton Food Pantry, at 11481 Allison Court, is a nonprofit organization that provides food to people in Huntley, Lakewood and parts of Crystal Lake and Algonquin. The pantry accepts perishable and nonperishable food items, household cleaning items, personal grooming items, paper goods and gas gift cards.

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