#Lunchbag a #success for sophomore adviseries

Students prepare lunches for homeless


Owen Appel

Group of adviseries gather in the cateteria to pack lunches for homeless in Evanston before school on April 25

Traditionally sophomore year involves a big service project and this year adviseries will be contributing to the #Lunchbag movement which combines doing good with getting to know other advisees.

#Lunchbag is a movement that anyone anywhere can contribute to. Individuals make and pack lunches to give to those in need. Evanston’s Connections for the Homeless is working with the sophomore advisories to distribute the lunch bags and hygiene kits.

Special Ed Department Chair and adviser Sean Clemenz has been one of many advisers satisfied with this year’s project.

It’s this movement to spread the news that you could make lunches and hand them out to people who don’t have food anytime you want.

— Theodore Koulentes

“Once the scheduling process is over, it’s nice to have something that brings us back together as an advisery,” says Clemenz. “And you’re able to help a good cause at the same time.”

Students have specific jobs to do as they pack lunches for 25 minutes. Some make sandwiches, while others write “love notes” to make those receiving the food feel better. Sophomore Elliot Reuben put condiments in each bag.

“We’re putting these packets into each bag,” says Reuben. “It’s definitely nice to give back a bit.

Although it won’t limit how many lunches are created, COVID still restricted some parts of the #Lunchbag project. Typically, students would have traveled to one of the three Evanston shelters to deliver the lunches to those who needed them. Sophomore Advisor Chairs Theodore Koulentes, Juliet Smith, and Peggy Ono now drive them there.

“When we get there there’s always a line of people waiting to grab lunches and hygiene kits,” says Koulentes. “It’s really cool to see, but we can’t have an advisory leave school like that this year.”

The mission of #Lunchbag, along with why it has been such a success at New Trier, is that it’s more than just a charity project. This message is very clear in the cafeteria before school, where loud music and arts supplies create an energetic environment. All that’s expected is for participants to post a picture about it, tagging the @hashtaglunchbag Instagram.

“It then occurred to us that the meals we were creating were secondary to what we were really doing,” says the website. “Presenting our friends with an opportunity to get out of their daily routine.”

Sophomore Advisor Chairs decided to join the movement in part because of how hands-on and easy it is. Students will bring in either money or products used in the lunches, and in 25 minutes, each advisory usually packs dozens of lunches. Koulentes admired how efficient the entire process has been.

“It’s this movement to spread the news that you could make lunches and hand them out to people who don’t have food anytime you want,” says Koulentes. “And you could do that as a group of 1000 sophomores or as a group of five people in your house.”

In addition to these lunches, students create hygiene kits that could include shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, new socks, a winter hat, gloves or other items.

“They have three shelters within 10 minutes of the campus that we can deliver the things to,” says Koulentes. “It was good working with them in the past, so we reached out again asking for dates that we could drop things off.”

New Trier began contributing to this movement in part to give back to community, but just as much to help with team building as an advisory and as a sophomore class as a whole. The workspace in the cafeteria is filled with nonstop talking and fun music, far different than a boring environment some projects lead to.

“I think they have a great time and it’s nice they get to interact with other advisories as well,” says Clemenz. “It’s great to have a little fun and to get to meet some new people.”