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Local students donate potatoes to CHOW

(WBNG) — Local students are helping to make a big difference, after a field that grows potatoes in West Corners flooded.

Those potatoes were supposed to go to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, or CHOW, to make sure families in the community don’t go hungry.

“Unfortunately this year because of the rain and the floods, and all the water, the crop was lost so we missed out on about 16,000 pounds of potatoes,” said CHOW director Jack Seman.

Seman says there have been issues at the CHOW farm in Conklin because of the rain, but the organization has never taken a hit as big as this one before.

CHOW planned on distributing the potatoes to nearly 100 emergency food programs in Broome County.

But since that was not an option with the potatoes, Seton Catholic Central High School stepped in to hash things out.

“They came up with this idea of just collecting potatoes, bags of potatoes. Or money so we could go out and buy the bags of potatoes for CHOW,” said Seton Catholic Central student council member Sophia Czabala.

The school’s administration send out a newsletter Friday asking students to go out and buy bags of potatoes to be collected, and that’s exactly what they did.

“People don’t usually remember after the weekend, but I came into the main office and like the entire ground was just covered in potatoes,” said student council member Kiyara Lewis.

The school collected more than 12,000 pounds of the crop in just that one day.

CHOW says it’s one thing to see the community step up, but to see this coming from students is all the more inspiring.

“Broome County is home to over 16,000 children that are at risk for hunger during summer and school breaks so to see those same students actually stepping up, to help those students, it’s just incredible to see,” said Seman.

Students say it’s just part of the school’s roots.

“At Seton, we always do stuff like this, and every single time you always get the same feeling,” said Lewis.

Seton Catholic actually helps the field in West Corners harvest the potatoes every year, so this was another way to keep giving back.

Students who brought in bags of potatoes, or donated money to buy potatoes were rewarded with a “dress-down” pass to be used any day of the school year.

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