School Food Drives Help Community
Dec 05, 2014 12:27PM
● By Julie Slama
Fourth-grader Tyler McRae recently donated cans of soup, spaghetti and stuffing to McMillan Elementary’s eighth annual food drive to help the Utah Food Bank.
“It makes me feel good that I can help others get Thanksgiving food in our community and anywhere people need food,” he said.
Students wanted the food drive, held Nov. 17 through Nov. 25, to match last year’s 800-pound goal and by Nov. 21 were close to filling the seven barrels left by the Utah Food Bank. If they meet their goal, students will be allowed to wear hats to school, which normally isn’t allowed.
“It’s a great cause, and kids are aware that they are making a difference by donating food,” organizer Kristen McRae said. “Some of our community may be recipients of the donations. We’re trying to make students aware of how many people they’ll reach by the food items they collect.”
McMillan’s food drive theme, “Hats Off for Helping Others,” also encouraged students to express how they could help others on cowboy hats, princess tiaras, football helmets and other different paper hats. Written down, then posted in the school’s front foyer, were ideas such as raking leaves, babysitting, being a friend, preventing bullying and smiling and waving at everyone.
“We’re hoping that this will spark some other ways to help others in addition to bringing in food,” McRae said. “Even the smallest thing to help another will make a difference.”
Longview Elementary is holding its three-week food drive into early December. Counselor Anne Smith said that the food will benefit the Longview community.
Hillcrest Junior High will hold its annual food drive Dec. 1-17 to benefit the Utah Food Bank.
Viewmont Elementary planned its fifth annual food drive for Dec. 1-5 (after press deadline). Principal Margaret Young said that the school hopes to donate 1,000 pounds, up from 650 pounds last year.
During the week-long drive, students had a chance to vote on whether they like camping more than an amusement park or cats more than dogs, by placing their donated canned food items into the appropriately marked barrels. At the end of each day, announcements were made of the students’ favorite choice.
“It’s a fun way to bring our students together, but we will have teachers leading class discussions on the impact the food donations have on our community,” Young said prior to the drive. “We’re just so blessed at this school to have a stable community. However, we do want students to realize that there are those who are less fortunate in our community, just right next door, and allow them to be able to help.”