For the past few months, Pennypack Elementary School’s fifth grade students designed, collaborated and set in motion a food drive for The Lehman Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. Students collected 6,061 items that they loaded onto a trailer and delivered to the pantry at Lehman’s Memorial Church on March 6.

“I am so proud of our fifth graders. Each and every one of our students worked to make this endeavor success. This project presented to our students an authentic learning experience that focused on the development of communication, collaborating and creative problem solving skills while also applying academic skills learned in the classroom,” said Dr. Robert Campman, fifth grade teacher at Pennypack Elementary School.

After visiting Lehman Memorial Church in Hatboro, fifth grade students were shocked to learn learn that the pantry assists their neighbors and community members in Hatboro, Horsham, Upper Moreland, Willow Grove and Warminster. Inspired to help out, students began planning the food drive and announced it to the school at the Acceptance Day assembly in January.

They collected non-perishable food and toiletries from Pennypack Elementary students and staff by encouraging them to donate through incentives, such as pie in a teacher’s face and pretzel day. They also collected from the local community, the Willow Grove Naval Air Station and state Rep. Tom Murt who helped students deliver items to the food pantry.

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