Dist. 300 food drive yields tons of food

There was an old Tennessee Ernie song that started, “You load 16 tons and what do you get?

In the case of Community Unit Community Unit District 300, you get something wonderful to help the whole community 32,000 pounds of necessary items to benefit food pantries that serve students and families here in our school district.

Every year the school district holds an Employee Charitable Giving Campaign. This year it was organized by Susie Siles, District 300 central office receptionist and Mary Gross, District 300 Foundation for Excellence secretary.

They were aware of a critical need in our area food pantries seeing a decline in donations while simultaneously experiencing an increase in demand so, Gross and Siles decided to kick off the district's annual United Way Campaign with a District 300 food drive.

The food drive ran Sept. 20-24 designated as “Live United Week sponsored by our local Far Northwest Suburban United Way.

The Food Drive was supervised by Sarah Kedroski, District 300 assistant superintendent. Each school principal was provided with full details as well as ideas for getting teachers, staff, students and families involved in this worthwhile task. Administration, building and grounds staff participated as well.

“Every school was given a goal, and every school met or exceeded that goal, Siles said. “For instance, the goal set for the main office at Dist. 300 was 500 food items, and over 700 items were collected.

At the end of the week the donations were transported to the Buildings and Grounds facility where they amounted to 16 pallets of food, each 4-feet square and stacked approximately 4 feet high. Keith Shabacker, general foreman for the district and familiar with Boy Scout Food Drives estimated that 16 tons or 32,000 pounds of food was collected.

Everyone knows that items sitting in storage can be of little use, so it fell to the hard work of seven members of the Jacobs High School Honor Society to sort the donations into three categories canned goods, boxed goods and hygiene items.

The hardworking students included Marissa Blanchard, Dina Betts, Alyssa Roeckner, Deniz Evangelista, Aleta Wurfel, Greg Mixon and Trevor Tschosik.

Next stop for the donations will be on the shelves of the four local outlets for the Northern Illinois Food Pantry: FISH and the Salvation Army Food Pantry in Carpentersville, Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Food Pantry, and the Hampshire Food Pantry located in the First United Methodist Church.

Many people will be fed as a result of this first districtwide food drive. Good job, District 300 and Northwest Suburban United Way!