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RACINE COUNTY — Students and staff at Gifford School, 8332 Northwestern Ave., collected more than 1.5 tons (3,052.8 lbs. to be exact) of food for a local food pantry in the school’s annual food drive.

Gifford students loaded food items – ranging from ramen noodles to canned tuna to peanut butter – into vehicles Tuesday morning for transport to the Holy Communion Lutheran Church food pantry, 2000 W. Sixth St. There, volunteers weighed, sorted and stored the food.

Gifford provides for immediate need

“It couldn’t have come at a better time because we’ve gone through the holiday food donations that we’d received,” said Sharon Wilcynski, the food pantry’s manager. “Gifford’s generous food drive will help us serve the families who visit our pantry.”

The Holy Communion food pantry serves as many as 300 people a week. It is open from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays and Fridays.

Gifford food drive
Donations packed the bed of this truck and other vehicles to provide food for the nearly 300 families the food pantry sees each week. – Credit: Paul Holley

The Gifford School food drive, held Feb. 13 through March 10, was a friendly competition among grade levels 4K through 8. Each grade level was assigned a food item to be collected. There were incentives for students and teachers that collected the most food items or were first to fill their food boxes.

Gifford food drive
Students and adults gather to load the donations. – Credit: Paul Holley

In the 4K-through-grade-5 levels, students in the classrooms that collected the most items received a frozen treat while the teachers in those classrooms received a duty-free day of their choosing.

In the grade-6-through-8 levels, students in the classrooms that were first to fill their food boxes got 30 minutes of free time in the gym while the teachers in those classrooms received 30 minutes of extra preparation time.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...

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