Students help launch Kids Change Hunger

FoodBank: Every $1 provides three meals


PHOTOS BY ERIC SUCAR staff Students listen to a speaker during the launch of the Kids Change Hunger program at Ranney School in Tinton Falls on Feb. 11.

When Ashleigh Conroy planned a community service project to fight hunger, she didn’t expect to team with the local food bank her project would benefit.


But the timing turned out to be perfect, and on Feb. 11 the Ranney School fifth-grader helped.

The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties launched the Kids Change Hunger campaign at the Tinton Falls school.

Conroy’s proposal called for a school wide canned food and coin drive to benefit the FoodBank.

"A lot of people are hungry and homeless because of the economy …and no one should go a day without anything to eat," said Conroy, of Holmdel, in her plan for the project.

Her written plan, required of any Ranney Lower School student seeking to involve other students in a community service project, included important statistics about hunger in the region, as well as tips for sponsoring and promoting a food drive.

Heather Barberi, assistant vice president with TD Bank, shows students a cardboard bank they can fill with coins and redeem at the bank, which will donate the funds to the FoodBank.

Conroy’s idea came just as the FoodBank was preparing to launch its Kids Change Hunger campaign in conjunction with TD Bank.

The campaign involves distributing cardboard FoodBank piggy banks to students throughout the region for them to fill with their spare change for a donation to help feed the hungry.

Once students have filled their FoodBank coin bank, they can take it to their local TD Bank’s penny arcade (coin counting machine), get a receipt to give to the teller who will directly deposit the amount into the FoodBank account.

"For each $1 raised we can provide three meals," said Kate McMahon, special events coordinator for the FoodBank.

More than 300 of Conroy’s schoolmates, from first through fifth grade, filled the school’s Panther Hall for a special assembly to help kick off the Kids Change Hunger campaign in Monmouth County, and to launch their own canned food drive.

Conroy gave a short presentation during the assembly about homelessness and hunger stressing, "There are more hungry people than ever before."

The Ranney School in Tinton Falls has long been a supporter of the FoodBank.