Local food pantry campaign gets lot of looks beyond Clemmons

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 7, 2024

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Neighbors Helping Neighbors, an annual educational and collection campaign for the Clemmons Food Pantry, took a different turn during the month of February.

In fact, a lengthy cereal box domino train set up throughout Clemmons Elementary School on Friday, Feb. 16, made lots of twists and turns — and eventually went viral with millions of views, thanks to a Tik-Tok video and later a spot on NBC’s Today Show.

There were close to 3,000 boxes that tumbled during the amazing display, which was the idea of Fara O’Byrne, a parent and PTA member at Clemmons Elementary who got the idea from an educator friend who did the same thing at her school in Myrtle Beach.

Certainly, there was a tremendous impact in the community here with an overarching goal of supporting the Clemmons Food Pantry.

Shannon Ford, the marketing and communications director for the Village of Clemmons, gave her take during her report in Iast Monday night’s council meeting.

“I was there, and I got to see those boxes stacked up,” Ford said. “That was pretty impressive. But it’s gone completely viral, the video, and then on the Today show.”

It was a part of a segment called “Hoda’s Morning Boost,” involving one of the show’s main anchors, Hoda Kotb.

“This is Clemmons Elementary School in Clemmons, N.C., “ she said as the video rolled on the air. “They spent two weeks collecting cereal boxes for a local food pantry. It took them five hours to set up this domino chain. It took three minutes for them to all fall down. The chain went all the way through the school, down the hallways, on and on and on. The kids were cheering. They were screaming. It was just amazing and all for a great cause.”

Ford added, “I cannot think of a better thing of putting Clemmons on the map than an elementary school collecting food for a local food pantry. So I think that’s huge and a huge kudos to their PTA and everyone involved for doing that.”

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Speaking of cereal, I saw a recent report (maybe it was on the Today Show) about Cheerios, my all-time favorite cereal, perhaps not being so good for my health.

How could that be? I always thought Cheerios was part of a “heart-healthy diet” and contained soluble fiber from whole grain oaks while possibly lowering cholesterol and all that good stuff.

Now this report, according to a new study by the Environmental Working Group, said that Cheerios and Quaker Oaks might contain chlormequat, a pesticide linked to infertility in animals and altering plant growth.

I’m not exactly sure how that might impact me directly, but it doesn’t sound good. 

Still, if I’ve made this far down life’s highway, why change now?

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Here’s a quick sidebar to last month’s lead item in my column on my preference to drink Folgers Instant coffee for not only the taste and convenience — but also the price.

I’ve done this my entire adult life, but it seems I may have missed an important step along the way that no doubt cost me lots of money, according to a recent post I found on Twitter, uh, X, involving Starbucks — but it could be any company when it comes to the power of compounding.

Here’s the setup:

Person A buys coffee every day and spends $4/day, $80/month, $960/year and $19,000 over 20 years. Result: Gets a caffeine boost from branded coffee every day but loses $19,200.

Person B buys company stock every day and invests $4/day, $80/month, $960/year and $19,000 over 20 years with a 19 percent annual return ROI (return on investment). Result: Makes $161,396 over 20 years and $229/month in dividends.

So, I’m not either person in this scenario, but saving the money by drinking Folgers Instant could have paid paid off in a big way if I had followed the example of Person B. Of course, the point of this exercise is to start buying stocks of the companies you love, not products.

Oh well. Wish I had thought about that 20 years ago.

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Just three words: I miss snow.