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SOUP-er-BOWL: Students sacking hunger with canned food drive

Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School student David Thibeault-Lago, left, helps Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter Director Michael Reinke load the organization’s truck with cans. Thibeault-Lago and his school raised 1,511 cans.

NASHUA – Most New Englanders will spend this weekend gearing up to watch the Patriots head to yet another Super Bowl, but Nashua students at Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School geared up for their own celebration Friday.

But it was no Super Bowl. It was a Soup-er-Bowl.

The school’s student council hosted a three-week drive to raise cans for the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter. Student council adviser Ashlee Cataldo said student council members worked to urge their fellow classmates to collect cans.

“We tried to push it in each class. At the end of each week, they would announce how many cans were collected each week by each grade level, just to motivate students to try to get them to bring in more,” Cataldo said.

The students started with a goal of 500 cans, but quickly passed it. In total, they gathered 1,511 cans for the kitchen. As of Thursday, there were slightly fewer than 1,500 cans. The students were determined and managed to bring in 39 extra cans for Friday. The students in Beth Ausevich’s second-grade class collected the most cans, with 137 in total.

From left, Daisey Frappier, Patricia So and Sheridan Walsh grab a box of cans for transport to the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter’s box truck. Frappier, So and Walsh, along with their fellow students at Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School, gathered 1,511 cans during the student council’s three-week canned food drive.

Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter Executive Director Michael Reinke visited the school Friday afternoon with volunteers to pick up the cans. Reinke said this was the most food an elementary school in Nashua had ever donated. He said normally, they’ll get half of the amount or even a quarter. Reinke and his volunteers joked that they had gone back and forth between taking a car or a box truck, and said it was a good thing they had brought the box truck because they could fill it up. They thanked the students for thinking of the organization and all of the families in the area.

“Let’s load her up,” Reinke told the students.

Students worked in groups, with the help of Reinke, and shelter volunteers, advisers and teachers, to put boxes upon boxes of cans and other food items on the truck.

The Soup-er-Bowl food drive was one of many acts of kindness the school works to promote. The students involved in the council include: Harmony Burrows, Jack Russin, Molly Rork, Jayliana Ortiz, Mya LeDoux, Sheridan Walsh, Patricia So, Justin Clegg, Daisey Frappier, Skyla LeDoux, David Thibeault-Lago, Christopher Labreaque, Kayden Doubleday, Valery Rivas Rodriguez and Kiara Soto. The students are advised by Katie Stone, Aimee Carignan, Denise Georgoudis and Ashlee Cataldo.

Students from Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School Student Council stand in front of all cans collected for the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter through their Soup-er-Bowl food drive. The students urged their classmates to bring in cans. In total, the students gathered 1,511 cans — the most food the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter has ever received from an elementary school in Nashua.