Kent School Students Support the Kent County Food Pantry

Tricia Cammerzell
Since the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, Kent School students have engaged in several projects that support the Kent County Food Pantry. Through this sustained effort in fundraising and food collection, Kent School students have been able to donate several hundred pounds of food which has served dozens of families in our area for a sustained period of time. Proceeds from Kent School’s annual Empty Bowls event, in which every Kent School student made a ceramic bowl to sell, allowed for a financial contribution of $1,500. This contribution was enough to fund twenty-five families for one week.
Marilyn Parks, a Food Pantry Board Member said of the Empty Bowls event, “What particularly impressed me that evening was the collaboration that this event represented, The challenge of doing so many art projects that had to be not only created by the students but guided through the various stages of firing and glazing is a huge undertaking. The student government’s support of the Empty Bowls concept shows young leadership at work. I know that it’s the faculty and the support they receive from the administration that guides such endeavors.

The Empty Bowls event kicked off the year’s service efforts. It was followed by a student organized non-perishable food drive. Several events were hosted on the Kent School campus and the admission “fee” was a non-perishable food item. These events, held in November and December yielded 103 pounds of food.

In February, Kent School participated in the Chester Gras celebration in support of the Backpack Program. In addition to a sponsoring the event, students engaged in another food drive specifically to fill the needs of the Backpack Program. Students in different grades partnered to collect specific food items like individual soups or cereals, granola bars, fruit cups, pudding cups and drink boxes. Students collected over 500 pounds of food. Once collected and sorted, seventh grade students filled backpack baggies with a breakfast item, a lunch item, snacks and a drink. The filled bags were immediately put to use in one school to fill a particular need.
The Backpack program provides food for children who face food instability when they are away from school on weekends and holidays. Michelle Duke, Assistant Head of School for Academics said, “We encourage our students to come to school well-rested and well-nourished so their brain is ready to learn. Our students understand that children cannot learn if they are hungry or tired which makes this ongoing community service partnership meaningful to them and to our entire school community.”

Sue Basener, Food Pantry board Chair said, “Kent School is very loyal to the Pantry and also to our Backpack Program. We truly value the ongoing support.”

Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown, MD is an independent day school serving children from Preschool through Grade 8. The School’s mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world. For more information about Kent School visit or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110.