Students Make Leap Day Lunches for the Homeless
On Leap Day, students at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School prepared 171 lunches as part of a schoolwide service project for the temporary residents of Pinellas Hope, a shelter supported by Catholic Charities of St. Petersburg.
Each student brought a grocery item — a loaf of bread, a package of deli meat or cheese, or a bag of pretzels, and they were encouraged to use their own allowance to buy it.
With their food items out on tables, the entire student body — 207 students at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School — gathered around Rev. Gary Dowsey in the cafeteria at around 8:30 a.m. on Leap Day 2012.
He told them:
“Whatever we do for the least of our sisters and brothers, we do for Jesus.”
Then he dispatched them into assembly lines to prepare 150 sack lunches as part of an annual schoolwide service project for the residents of Pinellas Hope, a temporary shelter supported by Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg.
Each grade was assigned a specific task: the seventh and eighth graders handled the sandwich making, while the sixth graders bagged them; fifth graders sorted pretzels; fourth graders sorted the pudding desserts and apples; all the younger grades decorated brown paper bags with colorful drawings and messages of hope and love. Ten students would later get to serve to, and eat lunch with, the recipients at Pinellas Hope.
“When you make that sandwich, you are making it for Jesus,” Rev. Dowsey told them.
By 9:30 a.m., the students had assembled 171 lunches, with about 80 additional sandwiches, according to Renée Stoeckle, director of marketing and development.
“Loaves and fishes,” a teacher remarked aloud. “Loaves and fishes.”