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West Forsyth seniors take canceled breakfast, give it back to the community
West Forsyth Seniors
West Forsyth Seniors stop by Sandy Dickerhofe's home to drop off cereal that will be donated to help kids in Forsyth County.

Seniors from West Forsyth High School plan to try to donate at least 2,020 boxes of cereal and oatmeal to kids in need in lieu of their cancelled senior breakfast tradition.

Sandy Dickerhofe, a parent from West Forsyth, said that the idea came about earlier this week when all of the parents came together in a group chat to come up with something special to celebrate during the time on Tuesday, May 26, when the kids were meant to be heading out to their senior breakfast.

“We started brainstorming ideas of how we can make things special for these kids who have just lost so much,” Dickerhofe said.

One parent mentioned that many of the kids in Forsyth County either get free or reduced lunches at school, and, especially with summer coming up, these kids may start to miss out on meals that they need. While the seniors may be missing out on their senior breakfast, the students agreed that they would like to make up for it by providing breakfast to kids in Forsyth who really need it.

According to a Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning report, more than 8% of students at West Forsyth had free or reduced lunch in 2020, and there are more than 20% percent of students on free or reduced lunch at other local high schools such as Forsyth Central and South Forsyth. Elementary schools in the county, however, have the greatest percentages of students on free and reduced lunch, especially at Cumming Elementary, where more than half of the students take advantage of the program.

Knowing this, West Forsyth seniors are encouraging every senior in Forsyth County to take part and drop off any box of cereal or oatmeal they can. Parents plan to donate any dropped off food to The Place of Forsyth County and the Meals by Grace food pantries.

“We’re trying to spread the word,” Dickerhofe said. “We’ve been posting pictures of the seniors that have been dropping off and trying to get our community rallied because when we benefit Forsyth County it only comes back to us at the end.”

The seniors set their goal at 2,020 boxes by June 6,  in honor of the class of 2020. They have already collected more than 100 boxes, and are currently trying to partner with school sports teams and student governments to spread the word and collect more.

For those looking to donate, the drop off location is at Dickerhofe’s home, at 5075 Chase Lane in Cumming. There is a blue bin on the front porch for anyone to come up and drop off their donations.

Depending on the number of people and social distancing guidelines, Dickerhofe said that she hopes she can get together the seniors who donate on June 6 to take all of the boxes over to the donation places and take a photo together.

Dickerhofe said that although 2,020 boxes is a little ambitious, the kids are working hard to meet their goal.