JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Meals on Wheels program in Jacksonville was hit hard after the city cut about $180,000 from its budget.
The service provides hot meals to senior citizens who are unable to prepare their own food. As a result of the cuts, the students of Crystal Springs Elementary School stepped up to help support the program in its time of need.
They raised more than $1,400 from a penny drive that they're going to donate to Meals on Wheels.
The students and staff hope their donations will inspire others to help out.
"Kids like us are blessed to have things that we already have and food and drink and a roof over our head. They can't really do a lot," 11-year-old Jeremy Robinson said.
With the recent cuts, Meals on Wheels was forced to terminate 100 seniors that are unable to prepare their own meals. That raised the waiting list for homebound seniors to 840.
"They don't get the kind of help they really need because they don't have any people living with them or anything," 11-year-old Jonathan Robinson said.
In November, students and teachers at Crystal Springs Elementary launched the penny drive.
Community members and businesses also chipped in, bringing the donations to more than $1,400. That amount of money will go toward providing 200 more meals for local seniors.
Brenda Hansbry is disabled and said she's happy to see the younger generation giving back.
"It's great I think it's beautiful, it's a blessing," she said. "Tell 'em thank you."
For the kids, they say they've learned a valuable lesson.
"It makes me feel like I'm making a difference for people who need it the most," 9-year-old Amelia Valeu said.
To help support Meals on Wheels, go to its website, agingtrue.org.
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