by School Advisor Erin Burkett
A large number of canned goods and non perishable food items were donated to the Salvation Army’s Emergency Food Bank by students from Armstrong Junior Senior High School.
Members of the nearly-135 member LEO Club worked in conjunction with the Life Skills classes at AHS to host a food drive in November.
According to LEO Club advisors Erin Burkett and Lauren Craig (the former advisors also at Ford City High), the event asked 1st period classes to bring in items during the course of eight days. The event was held as a competition and the winning class was offered the reward of having a breakfast celebration at the conclusion of the collection.
The drive started on Tuesday, November 10 and ran through Friday, November 20.
Each morning students brought items to their 1st period classes and then teacher Kevan Landstrom and his teacher aides would escort their Life Skills students around the school to collect and tally the items.
Landstrom said the drive is a great opportunity for his students to practice a multitude of skills and they really enjoy visiting each classroom to collect the items.
The classes that held strong throughout most of the competition with a reputable amount of items each were the classes of English Teacher Mrs. Aikins, Social Studies Teacher Mr. Coil, Social Studies Teacher Mrs. Lockard, and Metal Technology Instructor Mr. Caves.
In total, nearly 2,500 items were collected by the student body.
“The whole school really jumped on-board (with the food drive),” Burkett said. “Those teachers did a really nice job of getting their kids to bring stuff in, but overall, we had a lot of participation throughout the entire school. It was nice to see the kids wanted to do that.”
However, in the end, Mr. Coil’s 1st period class was deemed the winner with 329 items. His class, along with the Life Skills students, will have his breakfast celebration this morning.
“(Life Skills students) really did the leg work with this – we really appreciate their help,” Burkett said.
Kittanning Salvation Army Lieutenant Amber Imoff arrived at the Manor Township school to load up her van with the boxes of food and was very grateful for this donation.
“She picked up a load Friday afternoon and then she had to come back Monday morning to pick up the rest because there were so many items and she couldn’t fit them in her van the first time,” Burkett recalled.
Lieutenant Imhhoff explained that the Emergency Food Pantry services about 100 local families per month. The pantry does not receive any state or federal dollars so it relies on local funding or donations like this.
The school LEO club is also currently collecting toys during the Joe Alese Toy Drive to assist children during Christmas.