The doors of Rolling Hills Primary School swung open into the crisp, morning air as second and third grade students paraded out onto the sunlit playground to participate in the school’s first annual “Take the Scare Out of Hunger” donation event. Donning superhero capes, princess dresses, animal tails, and character wigs, the students were dressed to their imaginations and led down the paved pathway to meet a very fuzzy Winnie the Pooh—whose smile reminded them of Principal Dr. Stumper! After waving hello, each student carefully dropped non-perishable food items into large cardboard boxes that would soon be whisked off to local food pantries in need.

The collected food items from this year’s “Take the Scare Out of Hunger” event are being donated to nearby food pantries within Sussex County, including Harvest House and St. Francis De Sales Parish. Having originated at Lounsberry Hollow School, the school-wide donation event has followed Dr. Stumper through his principalship to Rolling Hills Primary School. “Historically, ‘Take the Scare Out of Hunger’ focused on local food banks for the holidays,” stated Dr. Stumper. “However, this year, the event takes on special meaning due to the strain that local agencies have been experiencing due to recent hurricane events and other natural disasters.”

So far, this year, the Atlantic coastline has already endured an extremely active hurricane season, with eight hurricanes; five of which had escalated to Category 3 or greater. Food banks throughout the nation have offered immediate support to those affected by these environmental crises, yet now struggle to supply enough food provisions to meet the needs of our local communities.

In response, Principal Stumper decided to direct the charitable efforts of this year’s “Take the Scare Out of Hunger” event towards this worthy cause. The Rolling Hills Primary School’s student body contributed a combined total of 544 collected food items to support our community pantries.

With special thanks to the school’s SCA members, the costumed donors were able to enjoy some delicious fall snacks outside with their classmates after making their donations. Members of the Rolling Hills Primary School SCA handed out cider donut bites and cups of apple cider to the students, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Vernon ACME and Warwick Shop Rite grocery stores. Dr. Stumper noted, “On behalf of the students and staff, I would like to thank the RHPS SCA for their continued support, commitment and focus on providing resources for our students.”

Watching the young students carefully place cans of beans and soup, and boxes of cereal and pasta into the donation bins, Dr. Stumper added “This event has, once again, made me realize what a very special place the Rolling Hills Primary School community truly is. The enthusiasm of the entire staff, as well as the overwhelming participation of our students is simply phenomenal.”