Personal Essay: Peanut Butter and Jelly for CHiPS

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Peanut Butter and Jelly for CHiPS

Who likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

I do!  So do the many homeless people that we see on the streets of New York City and in our community. For the last six years, my brother, sister and I have been making 100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and packaging them in takeaway brown paper bags with granola bars and donating them to CHiPS every year.  

What is CHiPS?  CHiPS, (Community Help in Park Slope) is a soup kitchen in Brooklyn that supports the local homeless community including women and their infants.  Ever since this pandemic, the soup kitchen has been closed for indoor seating meal service so that everyone stays safe. Fortunately though, they still give out food every day in takeaway bags. Anyone who is hungry and in need can go to CHiPS and be given a takeaway meal.

There are many more people who are hungry and struggling since we have been in this pandemic crisis, and making sandwiches is our family’s way of helping out.  It all started when I was in kindergarten and we were given the 100th Day of School Project. It seemed like a great idea to make 100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as my school project instead of gluing 100 Cheerios on a board!  I’m glad we chose the sandwiches!!  

Who would have thought after 4 hours of our expert sandwich making skills,  (a lot of peanut butter and jelly all over our hands, clothes and table!), we could make so many sandwiches to help feed the homeless and help our community.  

Maybe one day we can do a collection of food and pantry items to donate or even take a class trip there.  It would be great if our IS187 family community joined together to help bring awareness to help those in need.  This can also help us stay connected with our community even though we are staying safe and socially distancing. It would be so much fun if we did a school activity together for CHiPS one day if possible.  

How awesome would it be if every student was given an assignment to make one pantry bag with three items in it for the homeless.  You could put anything in this pantry bag that is non-perishable. 

Here are some examples:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, granola bar
  • Applesauce, water bottle, tissues
  • Roll of toilet paper, gloves, socks
  • Hat, mask, hand sanitizer
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cookies
  • Potato chips, onion chips, cheese chips, etc.

Examples go on and on and on…

Preparing our pantry bags and helping the homeless was so inspiring that we continued this tradition with other holidays too.   I hope that you feel the same way and will join helping those in need, by giving to the CHiPS community. 

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