Category Archives: Featured People

Local Food pantry serves families as Red Lion’s poverty rate increases

Shana Carey

Opinions Editor and Marketing Editor

Roughly two out of five students in a Red Lion classroom are in poverty. The poverty rate in the Red Lion Area School District has continuously increased and hit an all time high of 43% this year. In order to combat this growing number, a local food pantry both educates and serves nearly 350 families from Red Lion and also Dallastown and Eastern York school districts. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, local poverty rates have increased, and more families turn to Community REACH for financial assistance, life skills training, and food and clothing distribution. “It’s definitely increased. I’d say at least 25%,” Executive Director Mrs. JoEllyn Hynson said. ”Every month the numbers keep increasing.” 

Despite the growing poverty rates within the district, the Community Kids Food for Home Program is seeing a decrease in number of families registered. “We’re serving about 25 kids, but usually only about 10 families,” Red Lion Area School District Social Worker Mrs. Brandy Shealer said, “Before, we were serving hundreds of kids.” 

The decrease in families that are registered could be due to the availability of food during the pandemic., “Even students who weren’t on free and reduced lunch are now getting free lunches and free breakfasts.”  Mrs. Shealer said.

The intent behind this program was to make sure that all students got enough food to eat while they are not in school. “For the sake of argument, say we typically have 6,000 students,” Mrs. Shealer said. ”If you think that 40% of that 6,000 are actually in poverty, think how many students we should be serving in this program and we’re not.” 

Families that need to sign up for the program should contact Brandy Shealer or Stacy Strausbaugh directly. Starting in April, all new families can also go directly to the Community REACH website. Anyone that contacts one of these people and is already on free and reduced lunch in Skyward is added to the program. 

In the past few years, there have been many changes to the Community Kids Food for Home Program. “We decided to change the way that we distribute the food and have the parents pick it up,” Mrs. Shealer said, ”so that we could provide larger sizes, and more foods that the families could actually use.”

Parents that are a part of the program have responded positively to this change. “We’ve gotten good feedback from the families that have utilized it,” Mrs. Shealer said. “They were very surprised because we kept telling them, ‘don’t leave yet, we have another box.’”

According to Mrs. Shealer, JoEllyn Hynson at Community REACH helped to supply families with a healthier variety of foods. “We’re very fortunate to have such a wonderful partner in Community REACH,” said Mrs. Shealer. 

At Community REACH, Mrs. Hynson organizes education classes, oversees the pantry, orders the food, gets donations, and targets employees. She is also very excited about starting a baby club where families within the community can access resources for their young children. 

Community REACH serves more than food. They also offer life skills training classes to the public without needing to be a client. “We have people from Penn State come and teach classes and things like that,” Mrs. Hynson said. 

The food pantry’s kitchen was remodeled for cooking classes before the pandemic. However, in person classes are not being held in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  “Now, we’re just trying to pick up the pieces and do what we can online,” Mrs. Hynson said. 

This is not the only difference at Community REACH because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I guess the biggest change is our families are no longer allowed in the pantry,” Mrs. Hynson said. “When the family comes to the door to get the food, we push the card out and they load it up.” 

To register for the food pantry and schedule a time to pick up food, visit https://www.commreach.org/ and click on the Community REACH logo. Any volunteers that are interested in helping the pantry can find more information here

Employee Roberta Dabb, Receptionist Rosemary Thompson, Volunteer Board Member Lori Baker, and Executive Director JoEllen Hynson pose in Community Aid’s educational classroom.

In addition to volunteers, anyone can donate directly to Community REACH. They are looking for baby items, new or dry cleaned clothing items, and food for the Community Kids Food for Home Program. 

The pantry is looking for foods like cereals, pastas, spaghetti sauces, peanut butter, jelly, applesauce, and fruit snack packs. However, Mrs. Shealer said that money is the best way to donate to the program. “You and I might be able to take $1 and get a sale at the grocery store for like two cans,” Mrs. Shealer said, “but Community REACH can access the food banks and they may be able to get 10 cans for $1.”  

The goal of Community Reach is to distribute food, resources, and advocacy within the Red Lion, Dallastown, and Eastern area. “This is where you need to be putting in your efforts because they are directly in our backyard. They’re in our borough,” Mrs. Shealer said. “They’re serving our community, and we need to make sure that we support them.”

Survey shows many Teenagers consume Caffeine daily

By Kaitlyn Resline

Editor-in-Chief

The tired high school student is a troupe played through many novels and movies. The camera zooms in on a student that has just pulled an all-nighter and now has to prepare for school. To make it through the day, the student grabs a cup of coffee on the way out of the house.

The Leonid tested the reality of this troupe in a recent survey about caffeine use.  It turns out, for the majority of those surveyed, caffeine is a real part of their day.

The survey consisted of 408 students at Red Lion Area Senior High School. Freshmen made up 28%, sophomores made up 19.9%, juniors made up 27.3%, and seniors made up 24.8%.

77.7% of students surveyed report that they drink caffeine.

The common types of  caffeine beverages consumed were tea, coffee, energy drinks, and soda. 

“I used to drink coffee because I needed to stay up to do work,” senior Kehnun Sebesta said. “Now I just drink tea because I find it to be more beneficial and less harmful for my body.”

With teens juggling busy schedules and multiple demands at one time, high school students are the fastest growing population of caffeine users, a study conducted by Medical News Today said.

In the study 83.2% of teenagers consumed caffeinated beverages regularly, while at least 96% consumed them occasionally. 

This study was done on a smaller scale than the one at Red Lion, with 166 participants primarily in grades 9 and 10. 

Majority of students in Red Lion reported drinking one to three caffeinated drinks a day while only 9.7% reported drinking four to nine drinks. 

In comparison, the study by Medical News Today “44.6% of respondents drank caffeinated beverages one to six times per week, 11.4% consumed a caffeinated beverage every day, and only 4.8% never consumed drinks containing caffeine.” 

Red Lion student caffeine users are consuming more caffeine than this study.

The Medical News Today study says participants’ main reason for consuming caffeine was to feel alert, which would help them study better.

Similarly, the Red Lion survey found common reasons people drank caffeine was because it tastes good, they wanted to feel more awake, it helped with focus and concentration, and they had to stay up late. 

Mera D’Aquila, a senior at Red Lion, said she drinks caffeine to stay up late and do assignments. She believes it helps her think more clearly when she is only getting four to five hours of sleep a night. 

“Sometimes there will be nights when I have a lot to do,” D’Aquila said. “I’ll tell my mom, ‘can we just please go to Starbucks and get a coffee because I think I’m in the need tonight.’”

D’Aquila thinks she would drink caffeine less if her schoolwork was not so stressful. 

The FDA has cited that 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, or four to five cups of coffee, is not a dangerous amount of caffeine to consume. However, different people have different metabolizing rates of caffeine and respond to the effects differently. 

Common side effects listed by MedlinePlus of consuming too much caffeine includes shakiness, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, rapid heart rate, dehydration, anxiety, and dependency on caffeine. 

Although 80.3% of students report never having any unintended side effects of drinking caffeine, 19.7% report having side effects from caffeine consumption. Among these side effects students listed headaches, shaking, jittering, and nausea. 

Some students said that this happened when they would not consume caffeine for a period of time. 

Caffeine withdrawal can occur when a person consumes caffeine on a regular basis and then suddenly stops. Symptoms of this include headaches, drowsiness, irritability, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. 

The FDA recommends a gradual cut back of caffeine consumption to avoid withdrawal symptoms. If unsure how to do this, a person can talk to their health care provider about how to cut back.

Devan Chacey, Junior combines passions and talents as yearbook editor

Emily Ankers         

Editor-in-Chief

As a second year member of the yearbook staff, junior Devan Chancey strives for greatness in her role as academic editor and has taken each task assigned to her and completed it to the best of her capability for the best yearbook they can produce. 

Chancey was exposed to yearbook through her American History class in her sophomore year. She was assigned a magazine cover project and discovered that she enjoyed the process of creating and designing. Her teacher, Mrs. Axe, then discussed the idea of Chancey joining the yearbook staff. 

Junior Devan Chancey, Lion Yearbook
academic editor

As a second year member of the yearbook staff, Chancey is responsible for tasks including designing the spreads and taking over certain sections of the book to get the needed material and the correct format.

The staff runs in through groups that are assigned one central layout. They work together to design the layout of the spread before separating to work on their individual assigned pages. To do this, the staff utilizes computer programs such as Balfour and photoshop.

“Having other staff members and advisers put their trust into me to create something amazing never fails to fill me with joy,” said Chancey. “I’m very proud to be part of this amazing staff and get to work with other passionate people.”

The passion Chancey feels for her activity is not simply fueled by the work she is doing. Her passion is created from the knowledge of what is to come from all the work she and her fellow staff members are contributing. 

“There is so much to love about yearbook it’s hard to pick one thing as my favorite,” said Chancey. “If I had to pick something it would be seeing the finished product. Knowing my hard work created something amazing is a great feeling.” 

Working for a staff involved with something like creating a yearbook is a very hands-on activity. There is very little time for falling behind and not doing your part. Chancey expressed that the fast pace and constant need for alterations and tweaking keeps her excited and interested in what she is doing. 

Yearbook is based around a central deadline that is set in the middle to end of March. Chancey has emphasized the stress she feels in meeting these deadlines as she has to ensure that the school is being represented in the best way. This means that there must be accurate and appropriate quotes from students as well as proper grammar with no mistakes present throughout the book.

“Yearbook is so much more than a club,” said Chancey. “Yearbook has taught me how to use different computer programs and communicate with other people more efficiently. It also gave me something to be excited for and look forward to every day.”