On Thursday, May 26, Daniel Boone Area High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps joined Life Skills students at the Pottstown Salvation Army to help prepare food distributions.

These students worked together alongside Salvation Army volunteers to sort through more than 1,000 pounds of food on Thursday.

Tina Greth, a Life Skills teacher at the high school, said her students have been coming here on the last Thursday of each month since October. The purpose is to help set up for the food pantry that the Salvation Army holds each Thursday.

The JROTC students joined their peers for this past Thursday to offer reinforcements, make connections, and fulfill their Community Service commitment.

“This is our first year doing this at Salvation Army,” said Greth, explaining how she used to having a similar arrangement at the Crowne Plaza of Wyomissing.

This year she was able to connect with Major Carole Honsberger of the Pottstown Salvation Army. By working collaboratively, both sides are benefitting.

“Not only do we help out with the food pantry, it really helps us to get group skills – which are so important for my group,” said Greth. “This is all preparation for when they graduate, to give them job skills that can relate to a job outside of school.”

Honsberger admits she was a little nervous in the beginning about what level the students would be on – and wanted something that everyone could participate in. “I’m pleasantly surprised; the students pick up on things very quickly,” she said. “They’re just great. We’re more blessed for having them.”

On Thursday there were seven Life Skills students and four JRTOC students; one student participates in both programs. As everyone was processing the donations, one of the volunteers described the action as “organized chaos.”

Honsberger said that pantry usually receives about 700 pounds a food a week from the Berks County Food Bank. This week the number was up to 1,000 as the result of a Dollar Tree food drive and intakes from the post office drive two weeks ago.

“Everybody here at Salvation Army has been so respectful and so wonderful; it’s been just a great experience all the way around,” said Greth, adding that the experience also makes the students feel needed. “They help with a valuable cause while gaining important skills.”

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