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La Salle Prep's sack lunch-drive supports Blanchet House in Portland, other agencies

La Salle Prep, a Catholic college preparatory school based in the Milwaukie area, donated 15,000 sack lunches on May 15 for Blanchet House and other agencies to distribute to the hungry. 

COURTESY PHOTO - La Salle Prep senior Camille Brumbaugh drops off the bagged lunches she made to help the hungry during the school's May 15 drive to collect meals for Blanchet House, which is feeding thousands of people daily during the pandemic. Following no-contact protocols, Director of Service Sarah Maher picks up Brumbaugh's donation from the trunk.Donors packed sandwiches, cookies, fruit and cheese into paper lunch bags then drove to La Salle's parking lot. Once there, they stayed in their vehicles while masked La Salle staffers, following strict no-contact protocols, pulled lunches out of trunks and hustled them into other rigs for delivery.

School organizers had hoped to gather 10,000 meals to help Blanchet, which has been giving away about 2,000 to-go meals a day during the pandemic. But by the time the last vehicle drove out of the school parking lot Friday morning, they had amassed more than 15,000, enough not only for Blanchet but also for several other agencies that feed the hungry.

"In tough times people want to help," said Sarah Maher, La Salle's director of service. "We saw that today. And the important thing is how many people are getting fed today."

Donors included current and future students, staffers, alumni and friends of the school. As she waited in the parking lot to drop off the dozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches she made, La Salle senior Camille Brumbaugh said she was glad to help. "I wanted to help improve someone's situation," she said.

The drive was a fitting way to honor St. John Baptist de La Salle, said Maher. In addition to being the day of the drive, May 15 is Founder's Day, when Lasallians around the world honor De La Salle, known as the founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and patron saint of teachers.

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