Each year, kindergarten teacher Laurie Gurdal asks her students to write about their dreams and when one of them shared their dream was to have a refrigerator full of food, she decided to make it come true. Most of her students at PS 245, an arts and science magnet school in Brooklyn, are from low-income families and receive free breakfast and lunch at school. But when they get home? She knows many of them are going hungry.
Gurdal started buying snacks for the kids using her own money, but it got expensive and after spending $500, she had to come up with a new plan. She decided to open a food pantry and launched a fundraiser to reach her goal. With that money, she was able to give all 22 of her students last year a bag full of groceries three different times.
For the upcoming school year, this teacher is at it again, but this time? Gurdal wants to expand the food pantry so she can give students a bag of groceries one Friday a month and she already has anotherfundraisergoing to pay for it. “I want to make sure my students are fed and have the energy to come to school and want to learn,” she says. “They're good kids. They want to learn.”