Frankfort eighth-grader Allie Fortier stands with the 81 bags she donated recently to the Frankfort Township Food Pantry. | Supplied Photo
Updated: March 11, 2013 6:01AM
What began as a requirement for confirmation class and National Junior Honor Society turned into a teachable moment that has inspired one Frankfort eighth-grader to do more.
Summit Hill Junior High School student Allie Fortier was looking for a project that would fulfill service hours for her church confirmation class, and meet the project requirements of her NJHS membership.
Allie’s mother, Cheryl, is a dental hygienist at Treasured Smiles in Frankfort, and had a patient tell her about the Frankfort Township Food Pantry and how the shelves there need frequent restocking.
After Allie heard about the pantry’s needs, she organized a food drive before the holidays.
“I live in Frankfort, and I thought it would be a really good thing to do to help people here,” she said.
Allie and her family got 100 grocery bags and spent a recent Sunday handing them out around their Plank Trail Estates neighborhood. They ran out of bags before they ran out of houses.
“We probably could have done 200 or 250,” Cheryl said. “I didn’t realize what I was getting into.”
Each bag contained a letter explaining who Allie was and what the bag was for. It also shared the pantry wish list and gave instructions for leaving the bag out for pickup the following Friday or contacting Cheryl for a different pickup time.
“I was a little bit nervous about talking to people, but if they were out in their yards, I just went up and told them what I was doing,” Allie said. “People were very friendly about it. They really wanted to help.”
When Friday arrived, Allie and her family piled into their minivan and began the pickup. Cheryl said she filled her van twice, transporting 81 bags of food to her garage until they could make the delivery to the township office that Monday. A few latecomers meant Cheryl brought a second delivery of four bags and a box full of food that Tuesday.
“I wasn’t expecting as much as I got,” Allie said. “I was really overwhelmed. The food pantry (staff) was very grateful because they didn’t have a lot in stock.”
Provided to the