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Food drives underway on campuses

Ramsey Weeks donates food at Lacy. With Thanksgiving approaching, it’s time to not only think about filling our own plates, but to make sure less fortunate families in the community can do the same. Princeton ISD schools have kicked off the annual food drives to spark this initiative.

These collection efforts are part of the annual Angel Tree Program that also provides toys and clothes to families in need. Food drives will conclude before Thanksgiving to allow volunteers time to sort and organize items.

Organizers would like to break the record set in 2017 of 20,194 food item donations.

“It is important to give, because it allows us to help the people around us that are in need,” said Danilo Salomante, who is an officer with the Southard National Jr. Honor Society. “The food drive allows us to give back to the community and make a positive change in the world.”

Organizers say student participation in the food drive is important because it sends a message to kids about civic responsibility and caring for the community.

"The Community Food Drive is important because it helps to meet the needs of families in our community that don't have their basic needs met,” said Smith secretary Jean Lovelady.

The students also realize the significance of charitable giving.

“The food drive is important because it brings people together to try and help the less fortunate in our community, even if we don’t know them,” said Southard National Jr. Honor Society officer Emily Autrey, who is helping coordinate the efforts on her campus.

It is important for students to understand that some of their classmates may not have enough food to eat.

“Some people don't have food, and they can't afford it,” said Lowe Elementary student Olivia Hernandez. “So we give food to them so they can eat.”

Having students participate in a food drive that benefits local families is a learning experience.

“The food drive gives us a chance to talk to students about those who are less fortunate and how good it feels to help someone in need,” Lacy Elementary counselor Maitee Helms said. “We want them to know even the smallest gesture can help when someone is in need.”

Making food drives a group effort or competition encourages participation and shows students every little bit matters.

Christ Cares for Princeton, which operates the local food pantry out of Faith Baptist Church, offers these recommendations for food donations based on needs in the local community:

Paige McCartney and her students at Southard collect food for drive. Canned vegetables and fruit

Dry cereal

Oatmeal

Sugar

Dried rice

Dried pinto beans

Canned tomato/spaghetti sauce

Pasta

Boxed mac and cheese

Hamburger/tuna helper

Peanut butter

Cooking oil

Ketchup/mayo/mustard

Crackers

Pork ‘n beans

Soups

Canned/bottled juice

Ramen noodles

Cornbread mixes

Pudding/jello/cake mixes

High-need items this year include canned meat, canned or instant potatoes, jelly, pancake mix and syrup.

Below is a recap of how to donate on each campus.

Princeton High

Student Council is organizing the food drive and has delivered boxes to classes to begin collections. The food drive ends Nov. 22.

Clark Middle School

The Clark Middle School chapter of National Jr. Honor Society is sponsoring a food drive until Dec. 2. There will be a box in each teacher's classroom and the top three classes overall will have an ice cream party. Students need to deliver their canned good donations to their 5th-period teacher.

Southard Middle School

The Southard Middle School chapter of National Jr. Honor Society is sponsoring the food drive, which is underway until Nov. 15. The contest will be between the 5th-period classes. The class that brings the most items will receive a donut and juice party.

Suggested items include:

Green beans

Corn

Carrots

Potatoes

Soups

Tomato products

Chili

Fruit

Beans (pinto, black, pork and beans)

Spaghetti sauces

Non-perishable milk products

Pasta meals (i.e. Spaghettios, etc.)

Cereals

Crackers

Snack/cake mixes

Corn bread mixes

Dry pastas

Dry beans

Rice

Flour

Sugar

4 packages of Ramen = 1 canned item

Godwin Elementary

Student Council is organizing the food drive through homeroom classes until Nov. 22.

Harper Elementary

Harper is hosting its fifth annual “Food Fight: Knockout Hunger” until Nov. 22.

Homeroom teachers collect any non-perishable food items each day and place them in their box outside their room each morning. The office will collect and tally points each day. Each day during announcements, the top 10 leader board will be announced. The “Golden Gloves” will hang outside the class atop the leaderboard each day. The classroom with the most points at the end of the day Nov. 22 will win a pizza party and spirit sticks.

These are the knock-out round items and are worth more points on the designated days:

Round 1: Oct. 28-Nov. 1: Pancake mix, syrup and jelly

Round 2: Nov. 4-8: Canned pasta dinners (Spaghettios, etc.) and canned pasta sauces

Round 3: Nov. 11-15: Canned soups/stews/chili and saltine crackers

Round 4: Nov. 18-22: Canned meats (Spam, tuna, chicken, etc.) and Hamburger Helper 

Lacy Elementary

Lacy students can take donations to their homeroom teacher until Dec. 2. Prizes will be awarded to students in the Top 3 classes that collect the most food. First place – Burger King or Popeye’s kids meal, prize from the school store and extra recess; second place – Burger King or Popeye’s kids meal and extra recess; and third place – extra recess.

Lowe Elementary

Lowe students can take donations to their homeroom teacher until Dec. 2. Prizes will be awarded to students in the Top 3 classes that collect the most food. First place – Donut party; second place – popcorn party; and third place – extra recess.

Smith Elementary

Smith Elementary will hold its annual canned food drive until Nov. 20 to benefit the students and families of Princeton ISD. To participate, send non-perishable food items with your child. Students will need to take their food items to their homeroom teacher so they may be counted.

Be listening to announcements and watching the Smith social media for special bonus item days (that are worth double points):

Bonus items include:

Canned meat

Canned or instant potatoes

Jelly

Pancake mix

Syrup

The top three classes with the highest number of items win a prize.