EMS Sends Boost to DC-Area Food Bank

Left to right, Luke Schrock-Hurst (Mennonite Central Committee), and National Honor Society club: Elwood Yoder (sponsor), Lleyton Stutzman '21, Jenna Weaver '21, Shay Bechler '21, Anna Tieszen '21, Halie Mast  '21, Adam Stoltzfus '21, Karla Hostetter '21 and Kevin Carini (sponsor)
Left to right, Luke Schrock-Hurst (Mennonite Central Committee), and National Honor Society club: Elwood Yoder (sponsor), Lleyton Stutzman '21, Jenna Weaver '21, Shay Bechler '21, Anna Tieszen '21, Halie Mast '21, Adam Stoltzfus '21, Karla Hostetter '21 and Kevin Carini (sponsor)

National Honor Society students at EMS coordinated an effort to collect 75 boxes of groceries to share with Capital Christian Fellowship near Washington, DC. The multi-cultural Mennonite-affiliated church is located in Lanham, Maryland, near large immigrant neighborhoods and has been responding to immense need. In recent months, they have been distributing food boxes to as many as 400 households per week through a program that served about 40 households per week before COVID-19 hit.

Student organizers invited students, faculty and staff to contribute money, take a box home to fill, or simply bring in items for packing later. Mennonite Central Committee provided the boxes and transported them to the pantry. In less than two weeks, they filled more than 80 boxes and raised cash to purchase supplies for many more.

Each box, valued at approximately $30, contains peanut butter, canned fruit, meat and vegetables, pasta, rice, raisins, breakfast cereal and oil.

Wedding Bands Bring Additional Boost
Adam Stoltzfus ’21 and Lleyton Stutzman ’21 work regular hours with the school’s IT department, troubleshooting issues, fixing Chromebooks, setting up for IT needs and more. In a recent project, they cleared out some long neglected cupboards in their work space and discovered a box of wedding bands. A phone call to former athletic director, Dave Bechler, revealed that the box had been left in the school’s gym many years ago, and no effort to connect with the owner yielded results. So, into the cupboard they went.

A consultation at Harrisonburg’s Coin and Gift Shop revealed a value of $425. The boys, both NHS members, suggested the windfall be donated to the food bank at Capital Community Fellowship, along with the boxes collected. With that boost, the estimated value of the donation from the EMS community totals more than $2,500.

“We are grateful to be able to do something tangible for people who may not have as much as we do right now,” said Karla Hostetter ’21, one of the student coordinators.

Luke Schrock-Hurst ’78, stopped by the school so students could load the boxes on Tues., Nov. 24. He planned to drive directly to the city so the pantry could distribute the food the day before Thanksgiving. Luke is the Harrisonburg area representative for Mennonite Central Committee, and has a long relationship with the church’s leadership. “I’m sure this will be a nice boost to their ministry and a wonderful way to build connections among Mennonite people between the Valley and DC,” he reflected as he thanked the students for their time and energy on the project.

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