Bucks County students help provide meals to seniors in community

YARDLEY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A special education teacher in Bucks County is teaching her students valuable life skills while also helping people in the community.

Cemantha Giulian teaches students on the autism spectrum at Council Rock North High School. She got involved with the nonprofit, Caring For Friends, and decided to have her students help too.

Every week, her class, along with other student volunteers from the school pack boxes of frozen meals that go to homebound seniors in the community.

“It’s not what you would expect. It’s not your typical school day. We’re writing and doing math and reading. We’re putting our functional skills to use to help other people,” said Giulian.

The magic number the students focus on is seven. Every trip from the fridge to the packing boxes they ask for seven meals to carry. Each box has seven lunches and seven dinners to go to each senior.

Volunteers from St. Andrew’s Church, located across the street from the high school, cook the meals.

“Now we have a very well-oiled machine of packing up 400 to 600 meals a month and delivering to Philadelphia,” said Giulian.

In about two years, Giulian’s class has helped distribute nearly 15,000 meals.

“They don’t really always realize the magnitude of how big this little project is that they’re doing and how much of a difference they’re making,” said Giulian.

For the students, the benefits of this program go beyond helping people in need, they’re making friends they may have otherwise never talked to at school.

“It’s enjoyable to have such a good relationship with our friends and it’s really nice to have an experience like this,” said Gianna Reilly, a senior at the high school who volunteers to help the class.

As any good teacher will know, an exercise in giving back and building life skills always adds up.

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