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ILES students collect items for food pantry

A few members of Student Leadership stand with the trucks going to the food pantry. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
April 08, 2021
MEREDITH Students at Inter-Lakes Elementary School collected enough food to fill two pickup trucks that went right to the Meredith Food Pantry and to people in need.

The Student Leadership group organized the annual food drive that collected more than 1,600 pieces of nonperishable food, that was all boxed up. On Monday morning Student Leadership members and a group of school staff and faculty helped collect all the boxes and loaded them into trucks for the food pantry.

The food collection has been going on for a number of years at the school. Student Leadership co-advisor Trish Parsons said every year the students manage to collect between 1,000 and 2,000 items.

The collected started on March 1 this year and ran through the last day of the month. In the end students collected around 1,626 food items that went to the Meredith Food Pantry. One classroom alone collected 333 cans. Parsons said the class that collects the most cans will win ice cream sundaes for the class members.

Parsons said the custodians have been amazing through this process, including providing boxes and helping find space for the cans.

"Classes were filling up boxes faster than we could stack them," Parsons said.

Parsons and said it was amazing what the students accomplished.

"It was unbelievable in the year that we have bs the needs the community has," Parsons said. "They're just amazing families and amazing kids in this town."

Student Leadership co-advisor Melisa South also said she was impressed by what the kids did.

"Especially given this year, with everything going on it's nice that they could still do it," South said.

Representatives from the Meredith Food Pantry said they were happy how much the students collected.

"This is great," said pantry co-director Butch Keniston. "We've been coming here for several years, the amount of stuff that they have is amazing."

Food pantry volunteer Mike Pierce also has two grandchildren in the school.

"This is awesome, look at all that," Pierce said.

ILES principal Mike Bryant also credited Parsons and South with their efforts in this project, saying this help bring back a sense of normality in the school with everything going on.

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