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“On your mark ... get set ... go!”
With that call over the loudspeaker in Oliver Springs’ Mount Pisgah Christian Academy’s gym on Tuesday, two separate tables of students began scooping rice and beans into bags in a competition to be the first to fill a box with 20 meals.
“This is the day they’ve been working for,” said educator Megan Burnham.
The work with Feed the Need, a program through Champion Events, helps participants like Mount Pisgah combine fundraising with providing meals for the hungry.
All students from kindergarten to seniors helped pack and complete the process.
“Guys, it doesn’t matter who wins,” Jesalyn Howard reminded her teammates after they lost the intense competition.
“We are trying to feed these people,” she added.
Mount Pisgah’s total enrollment of 75 students raised $46,000 in only six weeks.
That helps provide 10,000 meals.
Of that, 8,500 will be sent and packaged to Harlan County, Ky., while the remaining 1,500 will remain in Roane County.
“We wanted our kids to see that there are people out there that need our help especially in our own region,” said Burnham. “Also, knowing that they are helping kids their own age, I think has been able to help them focus.”
Mount Pisgah partnered with Champion Events that help set up everything, including the fundraising website and the packing day at the school.
Along with packing the meal bags, students were also responsible for adding sticker labels to each bag, weighing each meal to make sure the amounts were correct and hot-sealing them for transportation.