GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — For the third year in a row, Farnsworth Middle School students put their knowledge to the test and set up a trail of dominos stemming around the entire cafeteria. The eighth graders collected and donated a record-breaking 607 cereal boxes to a local food pantry, but not before learning a math lesson.

“We teach with surface area with the boxes flat and opened, and then the cereal acts as the volume,” said math teacher Rebecca Bean.” and o”Once we do that, it moves into our curriculum of circular solids and finding the volume.”

The math teachers at FMS also help their students take their lessons beyond the classroom. “We are hoping the kids practice a little more gratitude and humility and just helping one another,” Bean said. “It works into our positivity project that we are doing in the school and teaching the kids how to be a good human.”

The cereal boxes will go to the Guilderland Food Pantry. From there, donations go straight to local families and other students in need. Executive Director John McDonnell said that need increased by 55% this year, straining supply. “Our shelves are empty, as far as cereal goes,” he said.

These efforts prove more important than ever with inflation hitting people’s ability to afford food. “Everything is going up except the paycheck,” McDonnell said. “Rent is going up. Utilities are going up. So, a lot of our seniors especially—and our families with children—are struggling to make ends meet, so the demand is increasing.”