SALEM (WSLS 10) – In Friday night’s game of the week, the Patrick Henry Patriots and the Salem Spartans will go head to head as the both defend their one loss record, but off the field, both communities are coming together to make a difference for elementary school students.
Lunch is a guaranteed meal for local students when school is in session, but three meals on the weekends is a different story.
That’s why the Spartans and the Patriots are serving together in the first-ever Game Day Food Drive.
“The same community that feeds resources into the school we want to take care of them,” explained Bridget Nelson, teacher and member of service learning committee.
Bridget and other organizers put out a flyer asking for specific food items that can be packed up and sent home with elementary students on the weekends.
“The students we’re targeting are those that can’t always advocate for themselves, and so we’re trying to support and target the kids that don’t always have the skills or ability or the support at home to make sure their basic needs are met,” she said.
Chris King, Salem’s athletic director, took this food drive idea presented by the service learning committee to the competition.
“That’s a huge part of public education, in my opinion, is service learning and when the kids realize that everything they do can give back to the community and it’s not always about our community it’s about helping everybody,” King said.
“I just think the best part about this is the fact that two schools that can be rivals on the field can then get together to do something great for the community and I think that’s the big piece,” said Patti Sheedy, Patrick Henry High School Athletic Director.
As fans come out to cheer on Salem and Patrick Henry, hopefully, they’ll bring more than their school spirit and pack a donation to make a difference.