School collects nearly 8,700 items

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The home economics classroom at Ironton High School normally has cans of corn and packages of noodles sitting around, but these days there are so many cans and boxes and cases of food it is hard to distinguish the classroom from a grocery store stock room.

The school’s annual food drive that normally nets 1,500-2,000 food items quadrupled in size this year.

“We collected 8,639 food items,” Stephen Howard said proudly. He should know: he tallied the donations.

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“I’m excited we got this many,” Howard said. “Mr. Rowe (Principal Joe) set a goal of, I think, 2,000 but we brought in four times that amount. I think it’s exciting.”

There was a little competition involved and rewards for those bringing in the most donations. The two classes that brought in the most items will get lunch at the Texas Roadhouse; second and third place winners get a Subway lunch and fourth place gets Giovanni’s.

“Everyone just got excited about it and wanted to compete a lot,” Jessica Weaver said. “There was big competition.”

Still, teacher Tomi Lintner said she thinks that while students may have been inspired initially by the thought of winning, the thought of offering a hand to others may have also prompted such action.

“I have been teaching 35 years and we have never done this well,” Lintner said. “I just think the kids realized the importance of what they were doing. I know the (Texas) Roadhouse is a good meal, but I think they realized that besides filling their own stomachs, it also feels good to help others and that life is not always fair and that they can make a difference in the lives of their fellow classmates.”

The food will be used to fill 20 holiday boxes that will be given to families of high students who need a little help during the holidays. The VFW 8850 Ladies Auxiliary donated $150 that will be used to purchase canned hams and other perishable items for each basket.

“We’re going to buy milk and cheese and bread and buns and make sure they get more than just enough food for one meal,” Howard said. “We want to make sure they don’t just have a good Christmas meal but meals after that.”

The student council will deliver the boxes to the families. The rest of the food collected will be given to food pantries at Central Christian Church, First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church and the Church of Christ at 10th and Vine streets.

Besides the food drive, high school teachers donated money to the Ironton City Mission.