NORTH JACKSON, Ohio (WYTV) – A canned goods donation drive turned into much more for Jackson-Milton Elementary after students donated in a big way.
The drive has been going on for 20 years.
“The students bring in canned goods to go to the food pantries in our local community to give to people that are in need,” third grade teacher Jason Crist said.
In total, the students donated more than 3,500 food items.
But a good portion of them — 500, in fact — were donated by kindergartner Otis Fishtorn. It earned him and his class a donut party.
Otis’ mom is a teacher at Kent State. She gave her students bonus points if they brought in a canned good.
“If it was me that needed the food, I would want people to do the same for me,” sixth grader Ava Darney said.
Hunger can be a major issue for people in the Valley — especially around the holidays.
The Mahoning Valley Second Harvest Food Bank takes about 15,000 requests for food assistance in the tri-county area per week. The cans will be going to the American Legion Post 737 for Christmas dinners, as well as The First Federated Church food pantry.
“I think it’s really important to show the kids that we need to take care of each other — especially if we’ve been blessed with material goods — and to share with those less fortunate,” Crist said.
The school is hoping they can get nearly 4,000 food items for next year’s drive.