Food Drive - Every Can Counts

Harker Heights Elementary participates in Food for Families drive
By: Todd Martin

There were hundreds of canned goods and other donated food items stacked neatly alongside classroom doors at Harker Heights Elementary School and each one mattered.
By the end of the day, those canned goods and thousands more wound up at Killeen’s Food Care Center to help neighbors in need.
On her daily count Thursday, the final day before delivery pickup in the annual Food for Families drive, Harker Heights Elementary fourth-grade teacher Ashley Martinez and her students counted 497 items.
The count, which grew daily for weeks, was displayed on the whiteboard in the class.
To the first-year teacher, it’s the students bringing in a single can that stand out.
“Our character trait this month is gratitude,” she said, “and part of that is helping others so we encourage our kids to donate what they can.”
“Some don’t have a lot,” said Martinez, “but they have such big hearts. One told me they brought in one can, and they are so proud.”
Killeen ISD Property Management picked up donated food Friday from numerous schools that completed food drives this season. Local donations went to the Killeen Food Care Center at 210 N. 16th Street.
During the largest one-day food drive of the year in Central Texas efforts of schools, churches, businesses and individuals stock food pantries in nine counties.
Inside classrooms, students are learning the value of compassion and teaming up to extend care to others.
At Harker Heights Elementary, the fifth grade Bobcat Leadership Team boxed the items for delivery.
“We’re packing boxes for the food drive,” said fifth-grader Serenity Braziel. “It’s for people who need it.”
The fifth-grader explained that teachers and other school leaders urged everyone to bring all they could to help.
“I think we have enough to feed a lot,” she said.
“It’s important to share with people who are in need,” Braziel explained. “It feels nice to help people.”
Looking over the packaged food items stacked on a desktop outside a classroom, fourth-grader Jakari Wilson said, “it’s enough for homeless people who need it.”
“It’s for our food drive to help people in need,” said fourth-grader Jay Jackson.
“It’s a lot. All the kids donated cans.”