February celebrations

While February is mostly known for Valentine’s Day, chocolates, flowers, hearts, and a lot more relating to love, you probably didn’t know that February is celebrated in so many other other ways! 

National Canned Food Month

February was also marked as National Canned Food Month! This awareness was not only spread in 1987 to break down misconceptions surrounding canned foods as being less nutritious than fresh food, but it was also introduced to experiment with canned food meals. In addition, BackPack programs, food pantries, soup kitchens, and more benefit from donations received during the month. Many people also come out and volunteer to help contribute to their communities.

While you may think this month’s awareness is all good, it has its pros and cons. One of the pros is that it benefits lots of good causes, like I said earlier. Also, many canned food companies have higher sales. This also has some cons, though. Many associations, such as the Consumer Group and the Center for Environmental Health say that canned food contains harmful chemicals. Different groups also say that 40 percent of canned foods that they tested contained BPA, a chemical linked to birth defects and cancer. For some people, canned foods is their main source of food. Many companies, though, are trying to make their cans safer by not using certain chemicals linked to health problems.  

While I think receiving chocolates and making cards is fun, I do also think that the awareness regarding canned foods and food banks that rely on them to feed many people should be spread more widely. 

- Anisa (Grade 6)

 

Great American Pies Month

Did you know that February is dedicated to pies?  That’s right, pies! Pies have been around for thousands of years, even dating back to Ancient Egypt. The first pie to be eaten in the United States was in 1620 by the pilgrims. They have become the ultimate comfort food and are woven into our culture as a symbol of tradition and home. After centuries of pie-making, this unique celebration was created by Crisco in 1990. The cold-weather month of February provides the perfect opportunity to indulge in the pleasure of eating pies from around the country. Great American Pie Month is not only good for tasting pies, but also baking them. This is a great chance to explore a new hobby or expand your knowledge on an old one. Whether you’re taking your tastebuds to Alaska for a salmon pie or Colorado for spaghetti pie, the choices are endless! Trying Maine’s blueberry pie (the official dessert of Maine) may be a bit more enticing.  How could I forget our own local Pennsylvania shoofly pie.  The journey to find your favorite pie can make for an exciting adventure while maintaining Covid protocol. 

- Elliana (Grade 7)

 

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated on February 17 in the United States and in recent years has grown in popularity. The purpose of this day is for individuals, groups and organizations to celebrate and encourage acts of kindness in a variety of forms.  Some say that it is a “pay it forward” type of day and can be rather contagious.  Some examples of how you can celebrate the day would be by giving compliments, writing notes of appreciation, picking up garbage, doing tasks for others or saying good morning to people. Not only does doing nice things make the other people happy, but it makes the person feel good about it. 

The holiday originally started in Denver, Colorado in 1995 by a small nonprofit organization- the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and has since spread from there, growing in popularity year after year. In most recent years, the holiday has changed to be over the course of a week- Random Acts of Kindness week. 

Spreading kindness to many every day helps make people happy, and lift them up at a time when lots of people really need it.  Spreading kindness should be done every single day.

- Inessa (Grade 5)