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Onekawa’s “astonishing” response to Food Walk

Onekawa School

Students at Onekawa School have collected an “astonishing” number of food items from the local community to help families in need following the COVID-19 lockdown.

Assistant Principal Tim Race said his class was crunching some job-loss statistics, which gave the children some perspective on how many people would now be facing hardship. This activity in numeracy led to the Onekawa Food Walk.

“On Monday, our Room 10 students – who are in years 5 and 6 – dropped over 500 leaflets into letterboxes on the streets that surround our school, which asked them to put out a non-perishable food item that we could pick up that Thursday,” Mr Race said.

“Our community response was incredible – we now have an astonishing quantity of food that is going to be donated to the food banks, which is directly helping those in need.

“The kids who took part are in our Manaaki syndicate, and this project really goes hand in hand with the principles of manaaki – caring, compassion and responsibility.”

Mr Race said the Food Walk empowered the children to make a positive difference to their community.

“Often children are pushed aside as not being able to do something meaningful and helpful. The truth of the matter is that they are just as connected to their community as anyone else (if we as adults let them!),” Mr Race said.

“As a school we have a massive advantage – we can assemble an army of volunteers very quickly and mobilise to make a difference in our community.”

And for the kids, it was an important lesson in compassion and empathy.

“The kids have been really responsive to those in need. When as a class we spoke about the wider effects of COVID-19, it started to really hit home. For instance, someone getting paid 80 per cent of their wage who also needs a new tyre on their car is suddenly a lot more vulnerable to being short of food. The kids have really thought beyond themselves. It has taught them to be compassionate and that they can make a difference to their local community.”

29 May 2020

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