‘No One Eats Alone Week’ being observed at Vestal High School

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VESTAL (WBNG) — Students at Vestal High School are using their lunch periods to serve up some food for thought.

For many students, lunch period is the best part of the day. But for others who may not have someone to sit with, it could be the worst.

“In high school there’s a lot of cliques so it can be hard to find your place,” said Vestal High School senior Mckenzie Vangorden.

So some high school seniors, who are also the school’s Yes Leaders, want to make a difference. And it all starts with taking a seat.

“It’s going to be weird at first and you might not hit it off, you might just go and talk to someone and they say ‘I don’t want to sit with you,’ but that’s fine. You should still try because there’s a lot of people who do want to sit with someone, they just don’t have the courage to say it,” said senior Andy Gates.

While these students are helping others who may be feeling alone, they’re also helping themselves.

“I get goosebumps and I’m really passionate about it to begin with. So it makes me really happy when I see someone smiling… and you don’t usually see them smile,” said senior Arsalan Alvi.

“I get a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I was able to help others and that i can know they may spread it on some day as well and sit with other people and be more outgoing,” said Vangorden.

Students are hopeful this initiative will extend beyond this week, and beyond the cafeteria.

Nationally, schools celebrate No One Eats Alone Day on Friday, February 15.

It’s put on by Beyond Differences, an organization that strives to end social isolation in schools.

Annie Flaherty

Annie Flaherty

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