Schools helping the hungry at holidays

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 29, 2004

Students at two area schools are waging their own war on local hunger, one can of food at a time.

A food drive at Burlington Elementary School last week netted 12,111 food items, including hams and turkey, and $543 in cash, while students at Ironton Junior High School donated 1,400 food items to the needy in their community.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," Burlington science teacher Sue Wills said as she surveyed the boxes of food interspersed among the desks and chairs in her classroom. "We do this every year but this is the most we've ever gotten."

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The food from the Burlington students will be donated to area needy families and to Lick Creek area flood victims. School staff gathered late last week to assemble food boxes.

For fourth-grader Bobby Borders, the act of unselfish giving was part of the enticement to get involved.

There was also a prize offered. "I wanted to help people who don't have enough food," he said. "And I wanted to win!"

The class that contributed the most food got a pizza party.

In Ironton, an annual food drive at Ironton Junior High School will benefit the Church of Christ food pantry which serves needy families in the community all year long. Congregation member Donna Fugett said the food pantry has been running low on food lately, and the donation from the school is much appreciated.

"We had to be closed Tuesday because we ran out of food," Fugett said as she watched Kids Kare Club members load boxes of food onto dolleys and take them to a waiting truck. "This will see us through until Christmas."

The class that donated the most food got to go to lunch early two days last week, principal Tobey Schreck said. The three students who donated the most food got lunch at the Shake Shoppe. For many of the students, the thought of doing a good deed for others prompted them to get involved.

"It's just good to help people out who are not as fortunate," seventh-grader Nathan Kerns said.

That food drive is organized each year by the IJHS Kids Care Club.