|Wellington Elementary students Randall Dimick and Cody Bradford enjoy school lunch. Students at the school conducted a food drive last year and look forward to gathering items again in 2005 for the Carbon County Food Bank. Wellington Elementary students and staff extend a friendly challenge to the other schools in Carbon district to participate in the two-week food drive. Donations will be accepted from Nov. 1 until Nov. 18. At the end of the two-week period, the school with the most items collected will be deemed the winner. The Sun Advocate will pick up the donations at the schools and transport the items to the food bank.|
Each year, hundreds of families in the Carbon County area have a difficult time putting food on the dinner table.
During the winter holiday seasons, it seems like the people who struggle financially during the rest of year feel the impact the hardest.
That is why the Wellington Elementary students support the Carbon County Food Bank each year prior to Thanksgiving.
Last year, Wellington Elementary Schools' Parent Teacher Association began a food drive which caught on with the students quickly.
The objective was to gather as many donations for the food bank as possible, but make the event a fun and learning experience for the children.
A contest was set up to determine which class brought in the most cans of food.
By the end of the drive, a sixth grade class had won the contest by donating more than 450 cans of food. The students in the class received a popcorn and rootbeer float party the day before Thanksgiving break.
Although the sixth graders did well, the rest of the school contributed significantly as well. In the end, Wellington students had donated more than 1,000 cans of food to the local pantry.
This year, the school will conduct the same type of contest. But the students encourage other schools in the district to participate.
By banning together as one community, students in the Carbon School District can make a difference for families throughout the area.
Wellington Elementary challenges every school in Carbon County to bring in appropriate food items for the food bank.
The schools that participate are required to keep a tally of the number of items donated. The school with the most food collected will then be determined the winner of the friendly challenge.
"I think it would be great to get together as a community and help the food bank," commented Wellington Elementary principal, Kerry Jensen. "We did well last year and had several kids who really got involved in the event. This just proves that each individual student can make a difference for a family in Carbon County."
The contest will start Nov. 1 and run through Nov. 18.
On Nov. 18, the Sun Advocate will send staff members in the newspaper's truck to gather donations and transport the items to the Carbon County Food Bank.
Participating schools will have students pictured loading the food items in the truck and be featured in a photo section of the newspaper. In the section, the winner of the food drive challenge will be named.
Food items that are acceptable include non perishable goods such as spaghetti sauce, powdered milk, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables and tuna fish.
Anything that requires refridgeration will not be accepted by the food bank. For every item donated, the school will earn one point towards winning the food drive challenge.
Contests within the individual schools also helps to promote donations amongst the kids. The popcorn party has been a success at Wellington, but other rewards may work better according to the school.
Teachers in the younger elementary grades have also made the food drive a learning expience for the children by teaching students how to count.
Each morning, a Wellington Elementary kindergarten class counted out the food items while older students would count the items then add them to the prior day's totals.
Students who have participated in the past food drive have expressed their feeling of pride which came from knowing that they helped a family celebrate Thanksgiving.
Because many children who attend Carbon County schools benefit from the food bank's services, it is particularly important to include school age youth in such a charitiable event, according to Wellington Elementary staff and PTA members.