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WHS Student Takes a Stand Against Hunger

April 25, 2017

“Some teachers showed concern to me, and I just wanted to help,” Madeline Emmi said. Sophomore Madeline Emmi started an extraordinary project at Wasilla High School with help from school staff. Emmi started Project Sandwich.

Emmi started Project sandwich in late February. The project began when Ms. Little, an art teacher at Wasilla high school, expressed her concern for several homeless students attending Wasilla High School who go hungry on the weekends. Wasilla High School has 20 identified homeless students.

“On Friday mornings, my mom and I make approximately 20 lunch bags,” Emmi said. When she first started the project, Emmi made 15 bags for students in need, but within a few weeks, Office officials told Emmi and her mom more were needed.

The lunch bags she and her mom make include a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a granola bar, fruit snacks, Pop Tarts, cheese sticks, and a small carton of milk. After packing the lunch bags, Emmi brings the food bags to the Nurse Kenshalo’s office on Friday morning. Then the students in need pick up the packed sandwiches on Friday after school.

The students who receive the sandwiches remain completely anonymous to Emmi. “After school, the students go into the nurse’s office and grab their bag privately and leave so no other students know who received the bags,” Emmi explained.

Currently, Project Sandwich is only at Wasilla High School. Emmi is hoping by next year the project will be supported by several of schools in the Mat-Su Borough School District. Clubs from other school have heard about Project Sandwich and offered to help or even run a Project Sandwich at their school. But for now, Emmi only helps students that attend Wasilla High School.

When extra bags are available, students who ask for an additional sandwich receive them for siblings. This is also kept confidential from Emmi.

When Emmi started the project, she and her mother would buy all of the supplies for the food bags and later would be refunded by the school. Although she had heard about an organization that might help with expenses with a grant. She did not receive any until early in April. Emmi received a $500 grant from the district’s Federal Program, Families In Transition (FIT). Emmi used the grant along with her own money to buy the supplies to prepare the lunch bags.

Emmi understates the 20 bags of food she supplies every Friday and the positive difference she makes helping twenty kids, improving twenty lives. Emmi does not receive official recognition for this project, and she says does not need or want it. But, with Project Sandwich, Madeline Emmi represents Wasilla High with dignity, excellence, and responsibility- the Warrior Way.

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