By Ken McLemore
HOPE – The students at Clinton Primary School concluded one of six current holiday canned food item drives on Hope Public Schools campuses to benefit local pantries with what is being hailed as the largest single such donation ever to one local charity.
CPS PreK through fourth grade students donated some 4,300 canned food items to Hope in Action on Nov. 29, requiring two van loads to transport the donation from the CPS campus.
“We filled both pantries,” HIA Director Mae Delaney said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had them both full. I suppose that is the most we’ve ever gotten.”
The CPS students collected the donation in one week prior to the annual Thanksgiving holiday break and delivered it to HIA for the Christmas holiday season.
“I believe this is the largest donation from CPS,” CPS Counselor Shauntelle Bennett said. “Hope in Action had to make two trips just to get them all. Way to go kiddos from CPS.”
The student donations were part of a holiday contest, Bennett said.
“Lynda Cole’s fourth grade class won the pizza party with 228 items,” she said. “Cynthia Reyenga’s kindergarten class and Stephanie Maldonado’s second grade class tied with 192 cans each; and they won a popcorn party.”
Bennett and CPS Counselor Paige Bobo organized the CPS event.
Three other CPS campuses have canned food item drives still underway.
The Beryl Henry Elementary School Leadership Council will collect canned food item donations from students and will accept donations from the public Dec. 6 -14. Canned food and non-perishable food items may be donated at the main office entrance, 2000 Main St., or may be sent to school with students.
“Please remember to check the expiration date on all donated canned and non-perishables,” BHE Principal Dr. Roy Turner said.
Questions may be directed to the BHE main office at 870-777-6222 during regular school hours.
Hope High School Paraprofessional Marketta Flowers, along with the HHS Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and HHS Student Council, will spearhead a canned food drive through Dec. 10. Student donations may be left in Sheila Hopson’s classroom, No. 225 on the second floor of the HHS main building. A $25 prize will be awarded to the leading student donor.
Hope Academy of Public Service students will continue their “Anything But Green Beans Food Drive” through the Dec. 6 Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade.
Students collected canned and non-perishable food items through advisory classes prior to the Thanksgiving break, and the class with the most donations will win a pizza party, according to faculty sponsor Hosea Born.
Born said HAPS students will also participate in the holiday parade by pushing shopping carts along the parade route to collect community donations of canned and non-perishable items.
Students at the Creative Action Team School campus completed a canned food drive prior to the Thanksgiving break which benefited Hope in Action, according to CATS Principal Cleytus Coulter.
Yerger Middle School classes are also involved in a student-led canned food drive which ends Dec. 10.