Free tacos and burritos served at Colonial Beach High School last Thursday enticed people from around the community. Both students and volunteers made extra trips to the kitchen to feed the crowd of over 200.
Taco Night marked the sixth week of the community service project: “Pay It Forward: Feed The Community,” sponsored by the high school’s Class of 2015. About 50 people were waiting in line when the doors opened last Thursday.
Juniors Brooke Payne and Kadera Lyburn were responsible for coming up with the idea when it originally started as a way to feed those less fortunate.
“If you think about it there’s a lot of food to eat so to give back to the community and give food to those you know feels good,” Lyburn said.
Payne said her biggest, happiest surprise came when she learned of the huge crowd that showed up for dinner during her volleyball scrimmage.
“The first night we weren’t successful, but the second and third night it started to get bigger. We weren’t expecting 200 people and hadn’t planned for them,” Payne said.
Volunteer and eighth grader Madison Foster said she has little experience cooking, but thought this was a great opportunity.
“I thought it was a great idea because you’re giving food to your community,” Foster said.
But over the past few weeks, the project intended to feed those less fortunate has evolved becoming a fellowship time for public leaders, residents and visitors.
“With everything going on with the school division and town, they are just trying to show community spirit,” school board member Michelle Payne said.
Sue Buzby, who attended the event, had a giant smile after collecting some food last Thursday.
“I really look forward to Thursday nights. We get to see our friends and eat,” Buzby said.
In order to graduate, students are required to have 50 community service hours. Lyburn and Payne thought opening the doors of the high school was a great way to accomplish that task and more. Two weeks ago, 125 individuals attended pancake night.
“It feels good to see a smile on peoples’ faces knowing that you’re doing something good and not sitting at home,” Lyburn said.
Dinners will continue every Thursday through the end of summer from 5-7:30 at Colonial Beach High School.
“I just want more people to come out,” Payne said. “I feel like if more people will come out, they’ll recognize what we’re trying to do and it could help even more people in the community.”