Shamong schools raise money for Medford Lakes Lions Club food drive

Indian Mills Memorial Middle School and the Indian Mills Elementary School raised funds to focus on community issues.

Over the past few years, the focus of many food drives has been on national issues and concerns. To that end, the Shamong schools have had color runs, drives for Breast Cancer, fundraisers for veterans causes and so on. This year, the district’s school nurses, Heather Cosper at Indian Mills Memorial Middle School and Jen Simpson at the Indian Mills Elementary School thought it was time to focus on local community issues.

This year, it was decided to do whatever we could to help the Medford Lakes Lions Club and lend support to their food bank. To that end, through the efforts of both IMS and IMMS and supplemented by the National Junior Honor Society of IMMS, the district collected $1,005, snacks and a wide variety of foods to help stock the shelves of the Lions Club’s bank. IMMS staff and faculty raised $505 by conducting an ice cream social organized by Cosper and Simpson, our “Super Nurses.” Lisa Scott, the NJHS advisor provided $500 from the proceeds of their Spring Fun Fest. The Fun Fest is an annual event provided to the fifth graders of IMMS, who aren’t permitted to attend dances or participate in sports in the middle school due to their age. It gives them some of the same opportunities afforded older students.

Additionally, the NJHS members organized a team to help load food for delivery. When asked about their support, Cosper said she was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of NJHS and the help they rendered. She pointed out that it was always heartwarming to see the totality of the efforts of the students to do whatever they could to help others.

At IMS, Simpson organized a special “bring a snack and give back day” for the student body. Fuchs’ fourth grade class collected and loaded all the food donated by the staff and students. Rich Lechner, a representative from the Lion’s Club, was on hand at both schools to collect the money and food for further distribution. Simpson said it was amazing to watch these young children using every ounce of strength to provide relief for others. When she asked some of the students their thoughts about the drive, she said their most common response was that it was something that need to be done and they were glad they could help someone else.

Both Cosper and Simpson emphasized that the food bank provides unwavering support to needy families of Shamong year-round. Besides food, the Lions Club provides help with eye glasses, transportation, medical equipment, scouting and scholarships. They knew that the families that would benefit from the efforts of the students would appreciate the outpouring of support by both schools.