Students in Kami Patik-Polendna's 8th grade class Tuesday morning talked about the Food For Break program they are conducting, an idea that came to the students while reading The Hunger Games. (Ernie Over photo)

Students in Kami Patik-Poledna’s 8th grade class Tuesday morning talked about the Food For Break program they are conducting, an idea that came to the students while reading The Hunger Games. (Ernie Over photo)

By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The entire Eighth grade class at Riverton Middle School is working to gather enough non-perishable food and cash donations for a first annual “Food For Break” program to benefit RMS students who may not have enough to eat over the holiday break.

Student Willie Ramos said the students have developed a marketing campaign for the program that is called Food for Break is No Mistake. “We are reading The Hunger Games in the 8th grade and have talked about how the story would have been different had there been a food bank in District 12. This made us want to do more for our own community and classmates, an anti-Hunger Games,” he said.

At Kami Patik-Poledna’s 8th grade Language Arts class on Tuesday morning, members of the class talked about the project with County10.com:

Shayly Starks: “We are reading The Hunger Games and doing an outline on each chapter.”

Joey Tarbert: “We’re doing Food For Break, collecting food for kids to have over the holiday break.”

Tommy West: “Our goal is to get 300 bags of food.”

Makenzie Valerio: “About 50 percent of our students here are on the free and reduced lunch program.”

Kaitlyn Ward: “We’re looking for non-perishable food items, such as dried food, pop tarts, jello, mac and cheese and canned goods.”

Garrett: “We’re also accepting cash donations to buy fresh fruit and vegetables and milk, and Smith’s is donating food coupons.”

McKenzie Dykman: “We started last week and we’ll be going with this until Saturday. We’re making plans for a radio announcement and we’ve contacted news outlets and we’ve made posters.”

Shalynn Hernandez: “We’ll be at Safeway from 10-2 on Saturday collecting food and cash donations.”

Christian McIntosh: “Food for Break is No Mistake.”

Shawn McGarr: “When this is done we’ll compare what we did with what the characters in the book did.”

Patik-Poledna said the food bags would be assembled next week in association with the RMS Parent’s Committee, which is also putting food bags together. “This is a good class project as the students are giving back to their own community,” she said.

Some 200 RMS students are involved in the project.

The Public Service Announcement the students wrote and hope to get on the radio:

HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED CHILDREN WHO RELY ON SCHOOL BREAKFAST AND LUNCH MAY NOT HAVE FOOD AT HOME OVER SCHOOL BREAK? RMS EIGHTH GRADE  STUDENTS AND THE PAC COMMITTEE ARE COLLECTING FOOD FOR BREAK. DONATIONS OF NON PERISHABLE FOOD ITEMS WILL BE COLLECTED ON SATURDAY DECEMBER 15 FROM 10 AM UNTIL 2 PM. PLEASE COME SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS. FOOD FOR BREAK IS NO MISTAKE. FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 856-9943.