“This year’s theme and one of our four vision statements, ‘WE are In This Together,’ applies to the food drive, too. We can make a far bigger difference together than we can individually,” Miller said.
Middletown Schools Spokeswoman Elizabeth Beadle said “in Butler County, our school districts are working together.”
“You’ll find that while Middletown, Lakota, and Hamilton Schools look different on the surface, we all have the same goal: To educate and love every student,” Beadle said. “With the Stuff the Bus campaign, all three communities win and all three districts demonstrate working together for our common goal.”
Lakota Board President Julie Shaffer said that “the annual food drive is a long-standing Lakota tradition that our students, staff and residents have always supported. We’re excited to include Middletown and Hamilton in the mix this year, too.”
Lakota began its drive at the Friday Lakota East vs. Lakota West football game with community members invited to bring their donations to the game.
The drive will continue through Nov. 1 with donation bins available in every Lakota school. The food drive bus will make stops at each school over the duration of the drive to collect donations. The final collection points will be Nov. 1 at the last home games of the year between East vs. Hamilton and West vs. Middletown.
Since introducing the “Stuff the Bus” theme, the drive has seen a steady year-over-year increase.
“Last year, the Lakota community contributed nearly 35,000 pounds of canned goods and other non-perishable items, enough to fill about four school buses,” said Scott Stephens, CEO and executive director for Reach Out Lakota. “We are grateful for the strong partnership with Lakota schools and always excited to see the growth from one year to the next.”
The district-wide food drive and other collections held at Lakota schools account for 75 percent of the annual food donations stocking the shelves at Reach Out Lakota.