Renbrook student collects food for local food banks

Annika with some of the food headed for FISH and Helping Hands, as part of a school project.

TORRINGTON — Fourth-grade students at Renbrook School were recently challenged to make adjustments to a social studies project by connecting it to the COVID19 crisis according to an email from the school. Katie Bunel, teacher at Renbrook School explains, “Before we left for our Spring Break in March, students were learning about the [Sustainable] Global Goals and [ways] to put those goals into action. We came back to [this lesson] during our Distance Learning [and I challenged the] encourage students to think of something they could do [to relate] one of the Global Goals to COVID19.”

Annika Schnabel, fourth-grade student at Renbrook and Torrington resident, accepted the challenge with a warm heart: “I heard in the news that, because a lot more people were out of work [due to] the coronavirus, they couldn’t afford to buy food, so a lot of food banks were running out of food.” Schnabel says, “I chose to support the global goal of Zero Hunger. It makes me sad [to know] that people are going hungry.” Schnabel created her plan as assigned and then, she took it one step further — she put it into action.

She placed calls to FISH (Friends in Service to Humanity) and Helping Hands in Torrington, and inquired about their needs. What types of foods would be most helpful? Was there a need for items other than food? With a list-in-hand, including canned goods and pots and pans, she reached out to her community via an online group and they delivered! Neighbors and families of her classmates at Renbrook donated not only food, but monetary donations as well. With over $1,000 donated, Schnabel and her mom, Natasha, went shopping and purchased additional food items to donate to the food banks. Schnabel shared, “It took us four trips to shop for and deliver all the food. I am happy that I was able to help in some way.”

Bunel is of course, super proud of Schnabel’s efforts as she witnessed her bring learning to life by helping those in need, “I had no idea that Annika would take it as far as she did, but I am incredibly proud of her. She is such a thoughtful and caring person. I’m lucky to be her teacher!”

The Mission of FISH NWCT is to provide the most basic needs of humans- food, shelter and hope. For more information on their programs or to donate, visit

Friendly Hands Food Banks offers bi-weekly food pickups, Thanksgiving family dinners, birthday bags (up to 12-years-old), school supplies for kids, Christmas toys and gifts for seniors, winter coats, and other necessary items. For more information, visit

Renbrook School, located in West Hartford, is an independent day school serving children from Preschool through Grade 8. For more information about Renbrook School visit, email or call 860-236-1661 ext. 227.

Connecticut Media Group