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Joshua Duran, a sixth grader at Quest Middle School in Lewisville, takes his place in the assembly line in the school gym. He and his fellow students are there to pack food through the Kids Against Hunger program. Helping measure, pour, and package, he gets to see how much food he and his fellow students could give to those in need with the money they had raised.

Together, students raised $3,300 in two weeks. With the food they were able to purchase, they packaged 28,000 meals that were sent to Mexico. Their contribution will feed five families of five people for a year.

“There was rice, there was soy, vegetables, seasoning and flour. We put it through a funnel and someone would hold the bag and take it around to the different stations. And then we would just repeat and repeat. I really liked it. I realized it’s not hard to help out just a little bit. It doesn’t take much time and it is actually really fun,” said Joshua.

Marci Stapp Director of Quest Middle School said the school has participated in the program for three years, and she finds that students always have a positive response to the program.

“I think it is great because we can only buy food based on how much the students have earned. I told them we want it to be their effort and what they do rather than their parents so that they have more buy in. One of our primary tenants at Quest is that we want them to be servant leaders. You can’t be a good leader unless you serve others, and this is gives them an opportunity to raise their own funds so that they can provide for others,” said Ms. Stapp.

The Quest Middle School students led the fundraising and packaging the food, raising money through a walkathon. Additionally each class held their own fundraises from a movie nights to a raffles.

Sixth grade math teacher Shannon Martin had her students calculate the impact their project had on others.

“We took how many boxes we as a class packaged and then estimated the time we spent, and they had to calculate how many boxes they each packaged. Then we talked about how many people a meal would feed and calculated that. They were really excited that they can actually contribute to something that is going to help someone else. They know there are these problems out there in the world, but they don’t have an actual connection. A lot of them were looking at the packages of food and comparing it to what they eat,” said Ms. Martin.

Borna Hassanipour, an eighth grader, has participated in the program for three years and looks forward to it every year.

“I enjoyed packaging the foods. It is really fun and it is nice knowing that you are helping someone,” said Borna.

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