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Education

Students participate in lesson of ‘mercy’

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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A Roman Catholic church on Buffalo's East Side continues a tremendous task of feeding those in need this holiday season.  St. Luke's Mission of Mercy to help provides more than two-thousand families with food bags. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley watched the process as area students stepped up to volunteer.

There was an assembly-line of students walking in and out of St. Luke's with bags of food. There were high school students from Cheektowaga Central High School and Canisius High School in Buffalo.

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Bags fill the pews inside St. Luke's church on Walden Avenue waiting for delivery.

"Where we can actually see where the stuff is going," said Joseph McEachon, Canisius High School Senior. 

Students were helping to deliver three types of bags to trucks and cars. They will be delivered to 2,300 area families in need.  

"We're not so removed from the process. We get to meet some of the people that were here that we were handing the food to and they were telling us like where they are bringing the food to," noted McEachon.  

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Students from Canisius High School, Cheektowaga Central and St. John the Baptist School helped at St. Luke's to prepare bags of food for those in need.

For Canisius Seniors John Quinlan  and Michael Tenney it was an up close look at how poverty is effecting the city. 

"It's been really cool. I just like to see how  you can totally know  that the food is going to a great cause and you can see where it is going and help move it to the places in need," said John Quinlan, Canisius Senior. " It is amazing that there is so many people who need this food." 

"It's great. There's no better feeling then helping people, especially this time of year when so many people are in need," stated Tenney

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Students from Canisius High School, Cheektowaga Central and St. John the Baptist School helped at St. Luke's to prepare bags of food for those in need.

St. Luke's raises money to buy some of the food and other product comes in from companies.  Nancy Polino is a volunteer coordinator for St. Luke's. 

"Very, Very generous community we have here,", said Polino. 

St. Luke's strives to provide strive to provide as many health foods as possible. 

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St. Luke's Mission of Mercy Church, Buffalo, NY

"We have multiple meals in the bags, so there's rice and pinto beans, there's pasta and sauce, there's peanut butter and jelly, milk and cereal. We give them fresh potatoes and sweet potatoes and also as a special Christmas treat -- oranges," said Polino. 
    

Students, like, Eighth grader  Noah VanValkinburgh from St. John the Baptist School in Kenmore, was one of the younger volunteers. "What is it like for you to participate in this event?," asked Buckley. "It feels just really great to help someone. I love helping people so it's just great experience," replied VanValkinburgh.

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8th grader Noah VanValkinburgh from St. John the Baptist School in Kenmore helped at St. Luke's.

One of Catholic Church's Corporal Works of Mercy is to 'feed the hungry'.  Thursday more students will return to directly help hand out these bags to a long line of citizens that is expected to wrap around the inner-city church.