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WES canned food drive surpasses goal

Despite a difficult year, the students and families of West Elementary rose to the challenge of collecting 3,700 non-perishable food items for the school’s 10th annual canned food drive.

The school total was 3,862, with the top class bringing 253 items. All collected items will go to Faith Mission to help local citizens.

“It is amazing to me that this year, despite COVID, despite work layoffs, despite quarantines, we were still able to reach our goal,” said West Elementary Assistant Principal and food drive organizer Monica Moon.

Moon said the food was kept in classrooms until it was time to be loaded onto the trailer to take to Faith Mission. Before loading the food, it was all brought to the main office to allow students to have a visual of how much was collected all together.

“It is crazy to think that a lot of the families that donated are some of the same families who this food will be going to help,” Moon said. “It’s just amazing to know that through everything, service is still something families value teaching their kids.”

Moon said she was shocked at the total number of items brought in and initially did not believe the success.

“I was going around to all of the classrooms counting up the totals beginning with kindergarten, and I saw the number and thought I must have done the math wrong,” Moon said. “I went back through the kindergarten classrooms and recalculated, but I still ended up with the same number. I thought ‘OK, this one grade probably just had a large turnout,’ but then all of the other grades had similar numbers. I was shocked.”

The classrooms that reached their goal of bringing in 100 cans will receive a yearbook for their class library.

The class in each grade that brought in the most cans will receive supplies for their classrooms based on what they need.

Moon said in the past the top classrooms have been awarded STEM kits, but this year they decided to ask the teacher what their classroom needed.

“We are just very impressed with the turnout we had,” Moon said. “We know this food will be very helpful to some people, and we are happy we were able to be a part of that.”