Students begin friendly competition to help area families

Students begin friendly competition to help area families

Fairmont students are collecting canned goods and other household items to help restock the shelves at area food pantries.

Every year during the week before Thanksgiving, Fairmont High School advisories have the opportunity make the holidays a little brighter for struggling area families. The Food Drive takes center stage, especially in these difficult economic times.

Advisory students began the first round of donations today and will continue to donate through the week.

The Food Drive is actually quite simple, as Jenny Borchers, the adviser of the United Student Body, explained. “The USB is collecting food in the advisory classrooms,” she said. “The food pantry then uses this food for holiday baskets for specific families and for winter storage in general.”

The advisories that donate the most food earn a Gold Star distinction and bragging rights with other advisories.

Each advisory got a list of the food items the pantries are seeking. These “shopping lists” were added to the Food Drive program last year. Rebecca Veneman, the adviser of the Freshman Class Council, which plays a prominent role in the Food Drive, said these lists were added because they “give everyone a specific idea for food items to donate.” Advisory teachers got the shopping lists last week.

Last year, several advisories gained the Gold Star distinction through their donations of copious amounts of food. One of the winning advisories was Advisory 122. Advisory teacher Jessica Stickel said her students donated an amount of canned food that was three times larger than the amount on the Gold List. “Some brought three or four cans and some brought 20 cans,” she said.

Although the competition helps, students also recognize the importance of the project. “There are other people and other families who need the food more than we do,” said junior Robert Bowling.

Veneman and Stickel believe last year’s Food Drive was one of the most successful Fairmont has ever seen. “I would say it definitely has been successful, and I would say that’s because of the generosity of our students here at Fairmont,” said Veneman.

Stickel agrees. “I think it was fully successful; I think it was the best year for this school,” she said. “It was great to see the students work toward this.”