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WJBD - Local News - Salem High Food Drive Collects Record Amount of Food

Students load cans during the food drive.

Students unload the canned goods at the Salem Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry.

Stacey Beavin's and John Haney's Homeroom Classes who combined efforts to collect the 1st place 7,120 cans.

Salem High Food Drive Collects Record Amount of Food

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Salem Community High School Food Drive this year was one for the record books.  

A total of 38,224.5 cans were collected. When the final total was announced by WJBD's Bruce Kropp at an all school assembly Thursday students and staff broke into a loud cheer.   The food drive topped the old record by more than 10,000 cans.  

SCHS Principal John Boles says once it became clear just how many canned goods had been collected, an all school assembly was called Thursday morning to announce the results.  "Folks as we stand here today, I can't tell you how impressed we are, the faculty and staff and every adult in this building, how proud we are of you for what you have done for others.  This Thanksgiving there will be a tremendous amount of families in this community that will enjoy food at their family table because of the people in this room," said Boles.  "Give yourselves another round of applause."

Boles drew more applause from students when he announced there would be an all school dodge ball tournament and a homework free day next Wednesday to celebrate.  

The combined home room classes of Stacey Beavin and John Haney won the individual class competition, with 7,120 cans collected.  Haney says their game plan was simple, collect lots of cans and collect lots of money to buy cans of food.  "We wanted to have a plan of action not to just win, but for the community to do really good things.  The students really got involved.  We really didn't have any individual students take over.  We had a lot of $20 donations here and cans brought in that all added up.  We received a couple of big donations, so we got to go to a lot of different grocery stores and go shopping and got lots of good stuff," said Haney.

The Student Council, which coordinated the drive, also provided the manpower to load the semi and other vehicles at Salem High and then help unload them at the Salem Ministerial Alliance at the Salem Community Activity Center.  

The pantry's coordinator Barb Henderson says their shelves were almost bare before the food started arriving Thursday.  "This is going to help a lot with our Thanksgiving and Christmas giveaways throughout the year and it's going to be good," said Henderson.   She reports the number seeking help continues to grow.  Henderson notes 13 recent emergency cases as well as a growing number coming to the food pantry distributions.   

Second place in the contest went to the combined home rooms of Matt Pokojski and Thomas Fisher.  They collected 6,273 cans. Third place went to Lisa Stephenson and Dirk Anderson, with 4,913 cans collected.  Six other home room combinations collected more than 1,300 cans apiece.

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