The food will go to Hoosier Hills Food Bank, assistant principal Cindy Chrzastowski said, just in time for ?Thanksgiving.
“We had one student who used her paycheck and brought in 348 items,” Chrzastowski said. “She brought in a whole cartload of Ramen noodles ... they didn’t weigh much but there were lots of things there.”
The total collection for this year, about 3,900 food items, is down from last year, but Chrzatowski said they’re still happy with how much students were able to donate.
“We had a lot more students contributing in a lot more classes,” she said. “Our goal each year is to hit 3,500, and if we get over that, we’re quite happy.”
During holiday breaks, students can’t get meals at school.
Chrzastowski said that’s one reason South tries to donate food around Thanksgiving. The food drive starts at the beginning of November and ends just before Thanksgiving break every year.
“We’re off all next week, and we have Christmas break, and that’s a time when Hoosier Hills Food Bank gets slammed pretty hard with requests,” she said.
The drive is run by students and mostly draws students, the assistant principal said, though South sends announcements to parents about donating. One parent this year donated 238 items.
Generally, the food drive doesn’t draw donors outside the school community.
“We’ve never opened it up and said anybody who wants to,” Chrzastowski said. “Maybe that’s a direction we need to go next year, to let more of the community know what’s going on.”
The Student Activity Council at South organizes the food drive every year, from creating publicity at the start to cleaning up signs when the drive is over.
Chrzastowski said she believes organizing and donating to the food drive encourages high schoolers to become better citizens when they enter the adult world.
“I think that one of the things behind all of it is it teaches our students that they can make a difference in their own community,” Chrzastowski said. “Education is more than just books. It’s part of making them well-rounded young people and making them realize they’ll be part of a community one day.”
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