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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • 'Blizzard bags of love': Corning children give food and joy to seniors

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  • The students and teachers of Hugh Gregg Elementary, dressed in pajamas to celebrate the last day of school before winter break, gathered in the school's gymnasium Friday to announce their annual donation to Corning's Meals on Wheels program.
    For the past 13 years, the elementary school has taken on the task of making "blizzard bags" - emergency bags of food for those served by Meals on Wheels when weather doesn't permit a daily delivery. The bags, packed by students, contain a juice box, crackers, soup, a fruit cup and a tuna lunch kit.
    Surav Amin, 9, and Sylvie Dickerman, 9, helped pack and decorate some of the 250 "blizzard bags" given to Meals on Wheels.
    "Generosity is our theme of the month," said Surav. "And helping people is generous."
    Surav and Sylvie are both members of Tracie Drew's fourth-grade class at Hugh Gregg. Drew organized the event this year, which not only promotes giving back to the community but helping one's peers, as well.
    "Older classes help younger classes, so every child participates," Drew said. "Every student colors and every student packs."
    In addition to the "blizzard bags," the school also donated $680 to Corning's Meals on Wheels.
    "We were able to purchase enough food to fill 250 'blizzard bags' of love," said Principal Ann Collins as she addressed the children. "You know that these folks will have food in their cupboards, thanks to us."
    Rich Graham, board of directors president of Corning Meals on Wheels, and Brian Rook, a chef with the program, were both in attendance to accept the school's donation.
    "These bags are essential to our operation," Graham said. "People will use these meals when we can't get to them in bad weather."
    The program, which serves approximately 55,000 meals each year, has been serving residents of the Greater Corning and Painted Post area since 1966.

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