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Annual Washington Elementary "Human Chain" Delivers Smiles and Food to Local Pantry

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The annual soup drive by Washington Elementary School on May 31 to benefit their next-door neighbor, the Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry, was delivered in its usual unique way: a human chain of students snaking from the front door of the iconic school right into the pantry itself.


West Orange Police Officers Chris Jacksic and Brad Squires were on hand to close off Franklin Avenue and look out for the little ones as they made their way into the pantry.


Food Pantry staff were at the ready to work with the fifth graders in the pantry area, sorting the soups, canned fruits and vegetables, and ramen noodles into crates for use in the summer months when supplies tend to run low. 1225 cans/packages were hand delivered by excited students, who enjoyed chanting "Pass that Soup," and a newer version, "We will, we will pass it."


Staff at Washington worked for months to collect the canned goods and helped orchestrate the delivery across the street. Linda Perna, Washington teacher, has headed up the effort for several years.


"This soup drive is a big highlight of our year," said Cynthia Cumming, Adminstrator of the HTWO pantry.


"It just never gets old, seeing how excited the kids are to do the drive and wanting to help," she stated.


"It is especially meaningful to us because Washington is a Title I school and over 70 percent of the students receive free lunch," she continued.


"Even though these families struggle, they still give. It is a testament to our West Orange community and schools," she concluded.


See all the photos from the annual Soup Drive here.


Washington Soup Drive

 Students line up for the soup drive.


See videos below. 


"Pass the soup."



"We will, we will pass it, pass it, pass it."





West Orange Schools
June 9, 2019