Benton Hall Academy faculty and students decked out in orange Friday walked laps around Eastern Park to bring awareness to hunger in the community.
Students brought in monetary donations for the Little Falls Food Pantry on Friday and Little Falls Firefighter Scott Kinville brought in drop-boxes for students to bring in nonperishable food items for the next month.
Lisa Rice, a second-grade teacher at Benton Hall Academy, said the walk was the “kick-off” for the campaign.
While the school has participated in food drives and walks in the past, this was the first time there was a walk to bring attention to hunger awareness. Rice said teachers talked about the issue with students during their morning program.
“It’s very important because it teaches children to give back to the community they live in,” she said, as she walked around the park Friday afternoon with students Evan Martyniuk and Emily Gallt.
Rice said during the walk she didn’t have an estimate available about how many donations had been made for the food pantry.
Each $1 donation made to the Little Falls Food Pantry account at the Food Bank of Central New York will generate about $8 worth of food at the Food Bank.
Rice noted how the campaign is the result of the coming together of the school, the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition and the Little Falls Fire Department.
“It’s a real community event,” she said.
Most of the student body participated in the walk. Lots of students and teachers walked the two laps around the park wearing orange T-shirts, jackets, pants, sports jerseys and other accessories. Benton Hall Principal Joe Long wore his orange Syracuse T-shirt.
Laura Stallman, a third-grade Benton Hall Academy teacher, walked with her class.
“The students have been wonderful,” said Stallman, about their participation in the event. “Everyone is very excited. They love to walk. They could probably walk more than the two laps.”
The project, spearheaded by the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition, was dedicated in the memory of fallen star Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, 24, of Staten Island, who was killed in Afghanistan in August.