Mira Mesa Students Step Up to Feed Families

Three San Diego elementary school students have raised money for thousands of meals at the San Diego Food Bank, and they're not stopping there

NBC Universal, Inc.

The pandemic forced them out of school. It forced them to stay home. It kept them away from their friends.

It didn’t stop them from putting other people first.

“Teamwork makes the dream work! Pow!” yelled three members of the Ericson Elementary School Student Council.

“We have raised a lot of money for the food bank to help people and families in need,” said Lizzie Weaver, the student body president.

The 5th grader sat alongside twins Chloe and Clarissa Aguilar to discuss the virtual fundraiser for the San Diego Food Bank.

“It makes me feel really awesome,” said Weaver.

The three said their school is teaming with fellow Mira Mesa-area schools Sandburg and Hage Elementary to raise money for the Food Bank.

“As much as we can. Yeah, as much as we can. Like, maybe a million,” chimed the twins.

“These kids got it right,” said Jim Floros, the CEO for the San Diego Food Bank. “These are tomorrow’s leaders and they really have it ingrained that giving back to the community, being part of the solution is part of that.”

“It is just the most amazing feeling,” said Ericson 4th grade teacher Rhoda Stephens-Yoder.

Mrs. Yoder is also the student council faculty advisor. She said Ericson Elementary has raised more than $4,000 on its own in two previous virtual fundraisers. Floros said each dollar can buy five meals.

“It’s great when somebody gives us a thousand dollars. That’s five thousand meals,” he said. “Before the pandemic, we were feeding about 350,000 people a month and that number has now spiked to about 600,000.”

Some of those in need of help lined up outside the San Diego Food Bank’s 35th Super Pantry. Located in Miramar, Floros said the pantry focused on helping people in the hospitality industry.

“They’ve never had to ask for help and we’re here to say, ‘No, it’s okay to ask for help and we’ll weather the storm together,’” said Floros.

His job was made easier thanks to the students at Ericson. They already raised enough money for 20,000 meals. Weaver wants to do more.

“The goal is to help as many people as we can,” she said. “We can make a difference if we work together.”

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