ALTON - Being aware and taking initiative are two items that this Remarkable Redbird of the Month has certainly accomplished over the past school year at Alton High School. Sophomore Adelia Sandifer noticed earlier this year the large amounts of uneaten fruit that her fellow classmates were placed in the trash at Alton High and thought to herself that something could be done to better that situation.

After many discussions with Assistant Principal Dr. John Bannister and also Arbor Manager Tim Weaver (Arbor is the company that currently runs the lunch program at Alton High), it was decided that boxes would be set up near trash cans for students to place uneaten fruit into these boxes where it essentially would be passed on to families in need of food.

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In conversing further with Assistant Principal Naj Citrowske, Adelia decided to call Crisis Food Center to coordinate the picking up of the fruit about two days per week. Over the course of the school year, the number of pieces of fruit going into these boxes has increased to over 200 per day. With the amount growing to such a substantial number, Adelia realized that additional help would be needed, and she reached out to the Community Hope Center to coordinate the other days of the week to have the fruit picked up from Alton High.

Adelia added during a recent conversation that "there was about two months of planning involved but now everything is pretty self-sufficient."

Adelia said she also gives a lot of credit to Teacher Regina Birch who has been her advisor in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) at Alton High. FCCLA focuses on leadership and there are a number of different areas that students can focus on and also participate in sectional, state, and national contests with whatever idea they may come up with.

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Adelia has focused on the area as Public Policy-Project Advocate and has developed a 10-minute slideshow presentation on what she has done and what the results have been with the project over the course of the school year. Adelia has won the sectional and state contests and will be going to nationals later this year.

Adelia will be focusing on a community project next year. For now, her plan is to host a food drive where she will be able to send food home with children. Adelia added that she will be building a team from her fellow students at Alton High for this next school year.

"I credit my mom, who is a teacher in the East Alton/Wood River School District, as another helpful person in what has been accomplished this past year," she said.

Assistant Principal Vernon Curvey added that "the student body has responded in a good way as well. We are happy and proud of Adelia."

Upon graduation from Alton High in two years, Adelia wants to study Law or Environmental Science with a focus on Social and Political Aspects with exposure to Agriculture and Sustained Farming with a focus on lessening food waste

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