St. Mark's Nursery School students recently took part in their first community service project -- a donation to the local food pantry. Each year during the holiday season, SMNS partners with New Canaan Food Pantry, a branch of New Canaan's Department of Health & Human Services. The Food Pantry serves needy families in New Canaan who meet the Department's requirements.

Wendy Hilboldt, New Canaan Food Pantry Coordinator, took the students on a mini tour of the Food Pantry and discussed the importance of keeping its shelves filled for families who are not fortunate enough to be able to purchase their food from a store. The students had fun delivering their individual contributions and helped categorize and sort the items for Hilboldt.

"Children are never too young to experience the joys of giving and the holiday season is a perfect opportunity to unite the themes of friendship, community and service," SMNS Director Sally Farrell said. As an Episcopal school, the values of faith, hope, love, and service are an integral part of our curriculum and we are grateful to New Canaan Food Pantry, not only for the important work they do in our community, but for providing our students a hands-on opportunity to reach out to those in need."

SMNS's mission is to enrich the lives of children and families with a fun, developmentally appropriate preschool experience that nurtures and celebrates the whole child: mind, body and soul. Each child's individuality is taken into consideration with the goal of responding to and enhancing his/her unique potential. The curriculum is designed to help children form friendships, develop self-confidence and discover the joys of learning.

Contact Director Sally Farrell at 203-972-7888 or visit www.smns.org for more information.

New Canaan Food Pantry is at St. Mark's Church. For information about receiving food from or donating food to the Food Pantry call the New Canaan Department of Health and Human Services at 203-594-3076 or visit www.newcanaan.info.

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