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  • Writer's pictureSue Wexler

Midland School fourth graders bring joy to Rye’s popular Bread of Life pantry

By Liz Leamy

Last Monday, a lively group of fourth graders from Midland School in Rye made a memorable mark with their participation at the Bread of Life pantry, bringing terrific enthusiasm, energy and joy to the dynamic environment there.

This buoyant group was comprised of 16 fourth-grade students who found their way to the pantry thanks to Stephanie Lauro, their dedicated teacher as part of a week-long Service Week effort Midland School hosts in tandem with various non-profit organizations in and around Rye each year.

“One of the selections of Service Week at the Midland School is for students to participate in the Bread of Life pantry and the children have all been really enjoying themselves here today,” said Lauro, whose daughter, Sophia, a fifth grader at Davenport Ridge Elementary School in Stamford, was also part of this contingent, along with parents of several of Midland School students as well. “It is a school wide community effort and something, for us, that is everything.”

Lauro, who has been bringing her fourth-grade classes from Midland School to the Bread of Life pantry for eight years running, spoke on how vital an experience this is for the children because it shows the importance of helping others and giving back to those individuals in and around the community.

“Whenever we come here, there’s an intrinsic thing that happens. The kids, parents and everyone are part of this amazing effort to help others and it makes you feel like you’re making a difference,” said Lauro. “It’s so important to give back and the people of Rye are all about that. Rye is such a strong and close-knit community.”

Certainly, the enthusiasm among the children, their parents, Mrs. Lauro and the entire crew participating at this pantry was palpable, as they all helped get the bags of food, vegetables and meat for the recipients with radiant smiles, something that made this a truly memorable experience on all fronts. “It’s been such a fun and beautiful day that is centered around the message of kindness, generosity and social humanity,” said Lauro. “And you can see that among everyone here at the pantry.”

The student’s parents agreed.

“It’s really nice to do this all together,” said Alison Cavazos of Rye who was at the pantry with her son, Paul, 10, a Midland School fourth grader. “We’re so grateful to be here and I think it’s been so impactful for the kids.”

Her friends concurred.

“It’s my first time here and it’s been great,” said Valerie Vena of Rye, whose son, Thomas, 10, is a Midland School fourth grader and both of who were at the pantry. “The children are having a lot of fun and are so busy and focused. You can see all of their initiative here as well, which is something.”

For the directors of Giving Tree Global/Bread of Life Pantry, it’s all about the importance of expressing the power of love, compassion and faith through kind and generous actions.

“We’re showing them what love and compassion is all about,” said Pastor Sherri Falco, who, along with her husband, Pastor Pasquale Falco, help make all of the work of Giving Tree Global happen. “The enthusiasm of all of the children has been incredible and the smiles on the faces of our food recipients is what it is all about. Everyone benefits.”

Pastor Sherri Falco further elaborated on how participating in the Bread of Life reflects the mission of Giving Tree Global.

“There should be love and compassion motivating everything we do,” said Falco. “Sharing God’s love is the reason as to why we do what we do and everyone gets to have a part in it.”

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