‘People in Life Need Help’: FRMS student organizes food drive to help feed the community

GEARY COUNTY, Kan. — Fort Riley Middle School sixth grade student RJ Shed has worked to better his community in many ways, volunteering across Geary County alongside his neighbor.

However, when it came time for Shed to join his neighbor and volunteer at the Geary County Food Pantry for the first time, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

“When we first drove up, I saw a family with a bunch of children. They didn’t look clothed right; they didn’t look healthy. I felt really bad for them,” Shed said.

Fort Riley Middle School student RJ Shed organizing the cans collected from his food drive.

Shed spent the day handing out cans of food to people in need, just like that family.

“I felt really good about it, and I decided when I got home that maybe we should do a canned food drive at our school, so we can feed homeless people that need food,” Shed said.

Since then, the sixth graders at Fort Riley Middle School have been hard at work bringing in cans of food for the pantry, especially with the help of a little friendly competition. The winning class gets a donut party, according to Shed.

Shed and his teacher, Mary McConnell, stand in front of the board marking the tallies for all the cans of food collected.

“I said to my mom the day that I left for school to tell my teachers about the food drive, ‘I’ve done my part, now I need the school to do theirs,’ and they did it, and I am very proud of our school,” Shed said.

With the help of his classmates, Shed will help hundreds of families in Geary County in need, just like the family he saw on his first day of volunteering.

“People in life need help. Every once in a while, I need help. It’s always good to help people that need things, [especially] their basic needs just to survive,” Shed said. “I just hope that I have faith in humans that we can actually be good species, so you don’t have to go sit on the streets begging people for money. I just really hope that.”

Shed and his classmates add tallies for all of the cans of food collected to the board.

On Wednesday, Shed will donate the collected cans of food to the shelter and hopes to help distribute them to the families in need once again.

For media inquiries, please contact Lindley Lund, Marketing and Media Specialist for Geary County Schools USD 475, at lindleylund@usd475.org.