Purchasing Power

K, 1, 2

Students will visit a local food pantry to present money from the lemonade sale and determine when and how food will be purchased for the community. (If a trip is not possible, a representative from the food pantry may be asked to come to the classroom to receive the donation.)

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period (Depending on location of the food pantry)(This lesson will include a class trip to a local food pantry.)

The learner will:

  • observe the operation of a food pantry.
  • present money to the pantry for food to be purchased for the community.
  • reflect on the project in a whole group discussion.
  • reflect on service learning experience in personal journal.
  • Scheduled food pantry visit
  • Transportation
  • Student journals


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the students "Today is our trip to the food pantry. We are going to be able to see the kinds of things our money is going to be able to do for the pantry."

  2. Take a trip to the pantry or invite a representative from the pantry to come to the classroom.

  3. Have the food pantry representative tell about how they try to meet the needs of their clients.

  4. Present the pantry with the money for the sale and determine how the money will be spent.

  5. After the students return from their trip to the pantry, take time to reflect on the things they saw and did. Talk about the process of the lemonade sale. Remind the students that they were being philanthropists and they were able to really make a difference in the lives of many families. Allow the students time to share their reactions.

  6. Have students reflect on the process verbally or in their journals, including the effects of their philanthropy and how they felt about the project. This may include illustrations, sentences or labels based on the students abilities.


Teacher observation of whole group discussion and journal responses. Stated service learning project? Presented the need met by the project? Personal reflection on event? Personal best? Students will receive 1,2,3 or 4 based on the guidelines in the rubric. A student receiving a score of four would have successfully completed all four areas.

Cross Curriculum 

Students will design a lemonade stand and have the lemonade sale after Day One of Lesson Five: Get Ready, Get Set, Squeeze! Recurrent lemonade sales will take place as many times as needed to reach the determined goal. Lunch time or after school sales are excellent opportunities for students to learn about sharing their time. The final lesson includes a trip to a local food pantry. This will need to be set up at the beginning of this unit. Local pantries often work with food banks to help supply food for the pantry shelves. The money collected can be used to purchase food from a food bank to be delivered to the food pantry or it can be turned over to the pantry to purchase food. Many food pantries purchase truckloads of food to supply families with perishable items. The food pantry purchases produce by the pound at a discounted rate. In Michigan, where this unit was written, five hundred pounds of food cost approximately three hundred dollars, and ten thousand pounds of food can be purchased for approximately four hundred dollars. Having the students earn money to purchase a truckload and then witness the delivery of the food has a lasting impact on students and demonstrates to them that they are able to make a big difference.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define community as the degree that people come together for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Identify outcomes from the service.