When it comes to our ambition and purpose, Renton Prep’s ultimate goal is to emphasize the value of compassion. Whether it be through giving back or caring for those around us, little by little, we can help make great changes. We can set goals for ourselves, but unless we take action towards them, they will always remain goals. At Renton Prep, it’s not just about setting the goals, it’s about reaching them. That’s why on March 21st, students in the 4th, 5th, and 7th & 8th grade cohort spent a day at the Northwest Harvest Warehouse. Along with teachers Ms. Reichel and Ms. Barr, they all traveled to Kent in order to volunteer. This was just another way to serve the community, and it was a success!
Northwest Harvest’s Mission
Northwest Harvest Warehouse is a statewide hunger relief agency in Washington. They fight for hungry people to have access to nutritious food while respecting their dignity and promoting good health. 1 in 9 Washingtonians need food. To reach their goal of ending hunger, Northwest Harvest provides nutritious food statewide. In addition, Northwest Harvest also sorts oats, beans, pasta, and coffee. Here are some important statistics that drive the agency.
- 1 in 6 Washington kids live in a household that faces challenges in putting enough food on the table.
- 1 in 8 Washingtonians live below the poverty line.
- 1 in 8 Washingtonians relies on SNAP (food stamps), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Washington state ranks 10th in the country in overall wealth – and ranks 34th in food insecurity.
“Northwest Harvest is a great way to show love for others and to give back to the community…This experience affected me a lot because I never knew that there were so many people in need.”Brian, 5th grade student at Renton Prep
Learning The Ropes
As the students made their entrance to the Northwest Harvest Warehouse, employees informed the group of what the day ahead of them will consist of. Divided into different stations, the goal of the day was to scoop and sort multiple bags of oats in order to give back to the community. The whole process was broken down into 4 steps, which each station was responsible for. The 4 steps included:
- Scooping Bags of Oats
- Removing Air and Taping the Bags
- Boxing the Bags of Oats
- Weighing each Box of Oats
The process starts with scooping two level cups of oats into a plastic bag. The significance of each bag is that every 2 cups of oats proceeds to feed a family of four! After scooping each bag, all air has to be removed from them in order to tape them shut. Once each bag is taped, they are now able to be boxed, weighed, and sent off for a good cause.
Students Get to Work
The two teachers and students grabbed their hair nets, washed their hands, and put on some gloves. Ready to take on the day, they each separated into a different station and began their work. It was a little rocky to begin with, but as each student continued to work, it became easier to maneuver. The group hustled for about an hour before they called it a day. Although it was tough work, all students enjoyed the experience at Northwest Harvest Warehouse.
“Helping at this community food bank makes me feel like I am doing my part to help hunger and starvation.”Ashlynn, 5th grade student at Renton Prep
Gaining Perception Through Experience
March 21st was an eye-opening day for all who volunteered to participate. Throughout all the hard work, students were radiating smiles and joy. There are many factors that made it an exciting day at the Northwest Harvest Warehouse. Hallie Reichel is the 5th grade teacher at Renton Prep. And in one of her assignments, she encourages her students to reflect on their involvement at the Northwest Harvest Warehouse. In conclusion, what did they learn throughout the process? How did they grow from this experience? Students share their observations and how it has shifted their understanding of the world around them. Here are some more quotes from 5th grade students:
“This experience helped me be more thankful for what I have. I knew there was people who needed food, but I didn’t know this much was in just Washington…I think that this field trip was very fun and it reminds us to be thankful. We should show love and care for others just like Jesus did. We should always remember we are helping our brothers and sisters. I feel like it would be fun doing this field trip again.”Abel
“I have also learned that we can help the community in little ways that mean a lot to everyone. I think that we all became heroes after sealing and pack the bags.”Keona
“I would like to do more for my community and help them help others too. I hope that my class does this again sometime because I enjoyed going to this field trip!”Marissa
In total, the students packed 2,750 pounds of oats to help save hunger in Washington! As great as that amount is, nothing compares to the new perspective and consideration that students gain through these experiences. Surely, the hour of hard work was definitely worth our time! We are so thankful for the Northwest Harvest Warehouse for serving the community every single day. Not to mention, it’s organizations like these that motivate and inspire our students to take charge. Everyday we aim to take closer steps to our ultimate goal of compassion. So don’t hesitate to learn more about our school. In fact, contact us today to start your student’s enrollment process.