LHS Cadets touch the sky with food pyramid

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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Lakeland High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) students reached new heights in a recent food drive that produced a 10-foot tall food pyramid.

The pyramid was created by collecting approximately 4,400 cans from a recent food drive that was supported by school staff, students, and members of the Suffolk community over a two-week period.

Originally announced on Tuesday, April 30, as a 6-foot food pyramid with 4,000 collected items, the cadets were able to reach even higher with the addition of 400 collected items on Wednesday, May 1.

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ROTC Instructor Capt. Sacha Fountain and Deputy Commander and Cadet Major Brenda Holloman both talked about the project and the process of putting the pyramid together.

“We had cadets donate. We went to Walmart two times in the month of April, and our community donated it to us as well and it’s really important to us because we believe in giving back to our community as one of our core values says ‘service before self.’ We believe [in] putting others before ourselves, and it was really important to us to do this,” Holloman said.

Holloman says the cadets will donate the items to Suffolk Christian Fellowship. Fountain says the project’s networking process went “really well”, as the project created flyers to pass to school and community members and worked with Walmart to take collections.

“The community was amazing in giving us monetary donations and canned goods…” Fountain said. “Then we used those funds and we purchased the bulk items from Sam’s Club, Costcos to help build our pyramid. Even my housing apartment community donated… We created food drive boxes and just dropped them off in random places. Little cans added up to a huge pyramid!”

Lakeland High School Principal Lori White says that her “heart is full” on the kids’ work on the pyramid.

“I am so proud of my cadets. Me through the years through various places, I’ve seen food drives done, but I’ve never seen anything like this accomplished before,” White said. “It truly does highlight their tenant of service and leadership. But I also think what’s really incredible about it is they created an opportunity to really highlight the generosity of our community as well and watching them really work together as a team not only to collect the items, they spent two Saturdays at Walmart, they were in their own communities, they were really promoting it in our own school.”

Holloman shared what she hoped people would take away from her and the JROTC’s work on the pyramid.

“I hope that people take away that, yes, we may be young. We may be a small group of individuals, but we enjoy serving our community. We put our community before ourselves, we support our community, we are here for our community, we are here for our school,” Holloman said. “I’d also like to thank our instructors – Capt. Fountain and Sgt. [Robert] Gluck, thank our Principal, Ms. White, and our Superintendent Dr. Gordon, for supporting us and helping us to do this and put this out there to our community.”