WALLINGFORD — Since October, students and staff at Choate Rosemary Hall have been hosting events to fight against hunger.
On Wednesday, the prestigious private school partnered with Master’s Manna to host a “Smash a Van” event. A broken-down minivan, previously used by the local nonprofit, was parked on Choate’s campus. With “Deerfield” painted on the van, students and staff paid $1 for a swing, with the proceeds going to benefit Master’s Manna. Deerfield Academy is Choate’s sports rival.
“They were trying to smash the van to get the door off because Deerfield’s mascot is a door,” said Master’s Manna Director Cheryl Trzcinski.
During the school’s annual service day last month, Choate partnered with Kids Against Hunger, packing 175,000 meals that were shipped to the Philippines, said Mary Pashley, Choate’s director of community services. This year’s service day was a drastic change from years past when students would go into town and rake leaves, Pashley said.
Choate students have coined the effort to fight hunger on a local and global level as “glocal, “ Pashley said.
“(They) understand they’re a privileged group of people here and they need to give back,” she added.
The dining hall also stopped purchasing and baking desserts. The money saved was donated to Master’s Manna and Kids Against Hunger.
In the coming months, the school will host a Hunger Banquet. Sixty percent of them will only be able to eat rice and some water at the dining hall; 30 percent will have a one course meal featuring chicken or fish with vegetables and 10 percent will eat numerous courses with fine China and dessert.
“We hope the momentum started during service day continues,” Pashley said. “We hope to have that momentum throughout the course of the year.”