Riverfront students pack meals for community

Riverfront Christian school second grade student Paige Fake, 7, spoons a cup of noodles into a bag during the school's Pack-A-Thon. Courtesy photo

For its first ever community service project on April 30, students from Riverfront Christian School in Front Royal raised about $2,000 to purchase meals that would go to feed area residents.

The school’s first Pack-a-Thon through the national Meals of Hope organization, based out of Naples, Florida, encouraged students to pack 10,000 meals in 2½ hours, said Director Cindy Martin.

“It went beautifully,” she recalled.

The idea evolved from thoughts of how the school might give back to the community. Administrators decided on packaging meals because “it would stay right here in our own area,” Martin said.

Working in an assembly line, students mixed 800 pounds of macaroni with soy protein and added prepackaged byproduct. Each package combined to make six servings, Martin said.

Meals of Hope supplies ingredients for macaroni and cheese or beans and rice, both fortified with soy protein and 21 vitamins and minerals, the organization explains on its website, http://www.meals-of-hope.org.

“They try to work within the communities themselves,” Martin said.

Working through the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, she said the meals will be delivered to Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington and to the Congregational Community Action Project of Front Royal.

Riverfront’s entire student body of about 75 students showed up to help, excluding preschool students.

The school has done fundraisers before, but Martin said this was its first community service project. And the children really got into it.

As they boxed meals into delivery trucks, she heard them start chanting “Meals of Hope.”

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com