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By Cara Hansen
Marketing and Communications Director, Rosarian Academy

February 21, 2019, West Palm Beach, Florida – The National Junior Honor Society at Rosarian Academy led the school community on February 2 in a large-scale gleaning effort to provide food for those less fortunate in Palm Beach County. More than 30 students, family members, and administrators spent their Saturday morning in Delray Beach picking 8,173 pounds of bell peppers. The peppers were delivered to the Palm Beach County Food Bank and then distributed to local agencies and shelters that feed the “food insecure” in the Palm Beach community. About 25 pounds of peppers provide a family of four all the vegetable servings they need for a week.

Annabelle Damiano, a fourth-grade student at Rosarian Academy, picks a bell pepper.

For the last six years, Rosarian Academy has partnered with Christians Reaching Out to Society (CROS) Ministries, the event organizer, by participating in two gleaning events per year. Volunteers at CROS Ministries gleaning events picked 527,366 pounds of food in Palm Beach County in 2018 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 Palm Beach community goes hungry. 

An estimated 54 million pounds of produce on farms is 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.  

Some 1,308 people will be fed for an entire week thanks to the grower, Bedner Farms, and all the volunteers who harvested the bell peppers on February 2. Through this meaningful community service project, the Rosarian Academy participants experienced the power of making a positive difference in the lives of the needy in their local community.

This service project was a strong end to Catholic Schools Week, January 27-February 2, 2019. Catholic Schools Week 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 theme for Catholic Schools Week 2019 was “Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed.”

Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, educates students from early childhood through eighth grade and offers an exceptionally strong academic program enriched by athletics, visual and performing arts, and community service opportunities. The independent, Catholic school is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

Feature photo (top): Stephen Hall, an eighth-grade member of the National Junior Honor Society, stands in front of one of 11 crates of peppers filled during the school’s recent gleaning event.

Rosarian Academy students, family members, and administrators spent the morning of February 2 gleaning at a farm in Delray Beach to provide food for the hungry people of their community.



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