The Cubs’ Cave (a.k.a. the back cafeteria) at Levy-Lakeside Elementary School in Merrick was loud and messy last Friday –– but it was all for a good cause.
With assembly-line efficiency, Levy-Lakeside sixth-graders made more than 2,000 sandwiches for the homeless on Jan. 31. The donation, neatly packaged in big cardboard boxes, was shipped to the River Fund Shelter in Richmond Hill, Queens, said Sue Molloy, the sixth-grade teacher who annually organizes the sandwich-making exercise.
Assembling the sandwiches, Molloy said, “is an opportunity for the students to really see the fruits of their labor…This is an especially wonderful age for kids, because they see what’s unjust and they want to make it just. They want to help. They want to make a difference in the world."
Students from all four of Levy-Lakeside’s sixth-grade classes took part in the exercise. In addition to Molloy, sixth-grade teachers include Daphna Arm, Soo Becchina, Kelly Larson and Melissa Robinson.
The sixth-grade has made sandwiches for the homeless for the last three years. The tradition began when a former student of Molloy, Lara Klein, said she prepared food for the homeless annually on her birthday, and she wondered whether her fellow students wanted to get involved. The answer, Molloy said, was a resounding “yes.”
Students bring in giant jars of peanut butter and jelly and loaves of bread to make the sandwiches. This year, Molloy also reached out to the community, soliciting donations from Suburbia Prime Meats, Trader Joe’s and Ward’s Deli in Merrick, and John Moore’s Deli and Spiga Bakery in Bellmore, which provided sweets in addition to sandwich materials. And Lior Saiag, whose son, Joey, is in the sixth grade at Levy-Lakeside, and who is a restaurateur in Brooklyn, donated an assortment of cold cuts.