scott-mcleodby Scott McLeod
Granger Community Learning Center Coordinator

In December, Granger Elementary decided to host a canned-food drive for the winter holidays. Of course, this is not uncommon at schools across America, and it is a generous tradition we should continue to honor. What makes Granger’s effort unique is that it is located in a low-income neighborhood in West Valley City, yet had astonishing results in how much food it collected.

2012-12-18 10.33.03Schools measure the overall income of their student body by determining how many students qualify for “free or reduced price lunch.” Essentially, families are asked to report their household income during registration, and if it falls below a certain threshold, students are granted free or reduced price lunch waivers. The percentage of students at a school who receive free or reduced price lunch is used as a metric to determine whether or not a school is given “Title 1 funds.” Title 1 schools receive additional funding to help educators overcome the many difficulties that face schools with large numbers of low income students. Needless to say, Granger is a Title 1 school. In fact, this year 82% of Granger’s students received free or reduced price lunch waivers. This is also what makes Granger’s accomplishments so impressive.

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During Granger’s canned-food drive, students filled over 60 large boxes with food. What’s more, they did it in just three days! The amount they collected was well beyond what was expected, so special arrangements had to be made for the pickup and delivery of their food. It took Granger CLC staff over an hour to move all of the food, and three truckloads to transport it to the food pantry. In addition, the food was donated to the pantry only blocks away, so Granger families and students were giving to their own neighbors. In a thank you letter from Mary Richardson, the manager of the Redwood Neighborhood Food Pantry, she states that she was “amazed at how much food [the students] could collect in just three days!… Families with kids your age will have warm meals to eat for the holidays and they have [the students at Granger] to thank! I am so proud.”

I second that. Thanks Granger, and thanks to all of the Promise West Valley families for being so generous during the holidays.

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