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May 4, 2020
Beyond The Call of Duty: Addressing Student Hunger in the Corona Crisis

In this guest blog post by Sarah Cordero, one of Project Bread's Teacher Champions and an ESL teacher at the International High School in Lawrence, MA shares how her school is fighting hunger, with the help of Project Bread, during this pandemic. Last year Sarah was selected by Project Bread as a Teacher Champion for her work fighting hunger in her school district.

At the start of the 2019-2020 school year, I was awarded the Teacher Champion Award from Project Bread.

Through this award, the International High School was able to create a pantry, “Helping Hands,” to provide students in need with food. Students were able to visit the pantry when they missed breakfast, before school vacations, and most recently, prior to the school building closure.

While the way school is “done” has dramatically changed, issues surrounding student hunger have not. Massachusetts schools could not anticipate how long buildings would be closed when the initial order was announced back on March 13th.

International High School's Safety Officer, Florencio Figueroa, has gone above and beyond his call of duty. He has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, compassion, flexibility, and teamwork. Officer Figueroa tackled the enormous issue International was suddenly faced with - building closure, a pantry stocked with food, and students with unstable financial situations and growing hunger concerns.

Officer Figueroa

Officer Figueroa took it upon himself to divide food from the pantry and organize it into boxes to be delivered to students. However, he did not stop there. Officer Figueroa called identified students and delivered these boxes to them himself. When praised by his colleagues, Figueroa humbly responded, “no, we have a nice team." Thank you, Officer Figueroa, for your endless dedication to the students of Lawrence. 

Below are pictures of International High School students delivering boxes.

Author(s): Sarah Cordero

Filed under: News and Events, Teacher Champions, Children and Schools, Poverty, For the Media