For the Reach Out Lakota organization, the annual school drive brings in its largest food donations of the year and it’s appreciated, said CEO Scott Stephens.
“Reach Out Lakota served a record number of families in October and our shelves were bare. We haven’t seen our supply this low in years,” Stephens said. “Thankfully the donations came in and we were able to serve 27 families the same day we were unloading the buses. This food will sustain our pantry through March or April.”
The Lakota-based contest, which is now in its 12th year, used to be limited to the district with Lakota West and Lakota East high schools competing. But in recent years the autumn food drive contest has instead focused on competing against other districts.
Given the varying sizes of all three districts, the leader was determined by the total weight per student, said Lakota officials.
Lakota accounted for nearly 12,000 pounds of the grand total, enough to stuff two school buses with canned goods and other non-perishable items, said school officials.
Officials from Middletown Schools partnered with its very own Middletown Success program, which serves students and their families.
“Service and collaboration are the Middie way, so this partnership was a no-brainer,” said Superintendent Marlon Styles. “We are always all in when it comes to supporting our community and it was really a great feeling to see how it all added up with three districts involved.”
Hamilton Schools Superintendent Mike Holbrook said he appreciated the invite for his district to join this year’s inter-city contest.
The Hamilton food drive benefited the Shared Harvest Foodbank.
“Stuff the Bus was a great event for our three communities to help stock our local food pantry shelves in time for the upcoming holidays,” Holbrook said. “All three communities win this friendly contest.”