Lake Forest students collected more than 3,000 items.
After caroling and handing out candy canes to hospital patients in December, a group of 10 Lake Forest High School students were on a mission to continue helping their community. “We knew we wanted to do something even bigger,” Mackenzie Miller said.
The 11th and 12th graders were in a leadership program sponsored by the Camden Chick-Fil-A in Corey Yanoshak’s business class. It encouraged them to create projects that gave back to the community.
When Miller introduced the idea of organizing a food drive, she said the class knew right away they wanted the whole school district involved. “We knew just having the high school wouldn’t be enough for us,” she said.
They partnered with the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford, which helps manage a food pantry in their school. The food bank donated collection barrels, and the students broke off into pairs to drop them off at each school with a goal of 1,000 donations.
Miller said they spent many hours creating decorations to spruce up the plain barrels and placing more collection boxes at schools.
The food drive started Feb. 4 and ended Feb. 19. Far exceeding their goal, they collected 3,124 canned and nonperishable foods. It all went to the food bank and the school’s food pantry.
“Barrels were piling up on the sidewalk, [and] I did not stop smiling that day,” Miller said. “It made my heart melt to see all the kids who brought stuff in.” She said she enjoyed connecting with the younger students, recalling one boy who donated his lunch because he didn’t have any canned food.
Even the elementary schools had barrels full of at least 200 pounds of food, Yanoshak said. He said it was great to see that “kids who are six years old in kindergarten are still supporting the cause that these 17- and 18-year-olds are starting.”
He said this is the first time in three or four years that the district or school had a food drive. Miller hopes to keep the drive going and raise the goal next year.
“I think this was a great experience for not just myself in general but for my class,” Miller said. “It showed that one little thing does a lot for the community around us. I think that’s what makes Lake Forest district the way it is. I think it’s cool we can come together as a family, as one, to help the people around us in our community.”