The National Junior Honor Society at the Rosarian Academy led the school community in a large-scale gleaning effort to provide food for those less fortunate in Palm Beach County on Feb. 3.
Seventy preschool through eighth-grade students and family members spent their Saturday morning in Delray Beach picking more than 4,000 pounds of bell peppers that were delivered to the Palm Beach County Food Bank and then distributed to local agencies and shelters that feed the “food insecure” in the community.
For the last five years, Rosarian has partnered with CROS Ministries, the event organizer, in participating in two gleaning events per year.
According to a CROS Ministries volunteer, the organization picked 500,000 pounds of food in Palm Beach County last year alone. Yet, the Palm Beach County Food Bank has calculated that 32 million pounds of food is needed to ensure that no one in the community goes hungry. Gleaning is so important because an estimated 54 million pounds of produce on farms are wasted every year. CROS Ministries works with local farmers to allow volunteers to glean, or pick, the crops that are left after the harvest, which are perfectly edible but do not meet supermarket standards.
Through this meaningful community service project, the students experience the power of making a positive difference in the lives of the needy.
This service project was a strong end to Catholic Schools Week, which is celebrated annually on a national level the last week in January. Catholic schools observe the week with Masses, open houses, service projects and gatherings. Through these events, schools focus on the values of Catholic education.
The Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, educates students from early childhood through eighth grade. For more information, visit www.rosarian.org or call (561) 345-3106.