Food Drive Nets Huge Donations

Killeen ISD schools collected food for annual drive
By: Todd Martin
Energized excitement breezed through the hallways at Harker Heights Elementary School Friday as students gathered canned and packaged food and carried the donated items to the front door.
They filled wheeled carts or grabbed either end of filled boxes and stacked each in the front lobby where Killeen ISD transportation personnel picked up the supplies for delivery to the Food Care Center.
Schools across KISD, and all of Central Texas joined with other groups in the annual Food for Families drive that culminates the Friday before Thanksgiving.
At Harker Heights Elementary, students, staff and other participants donated 6,511 non-perishable food items.
As the students stacked the donated food, Principal Carolyn Dugger asked them about the numbers of items and also wanted to know the real reason for the donations.
“It’s important to collect food for people who need it,” said fourth-grader Virginia Hampton. “It’s to serve people in need.”
“I think this food will help a ton of families,” said her classmate Annalise Clarmont. “There are some people who rely on others, and this will help.”
Their teacher, Janel Roberts said she was proud of the way her class came together and bought into the importance of helping others. She recruited her daughter’s softball team and the Texas A&M University-Central Texas ROTC battalion to join the class in gathering food donations.
The class was able to amass 817 items for the drive. They filled in charts each day to record the daily amount and also studied the issue of world hunger.
“It was amazing,” said Roberts. “A lot of students and families in our community have fallen on hard times this past year. I think they learned that every item helps families.”
The added participation of the ROTC battalion and the select softball team helped build momentum.
“I think it built unity and community,” said Roberts. “They knew they were not alone and that they had support. It speaks a lot to the culture of the class and of the school.”
Fowler, Brookhaven, Maude Moore Wood and Mountain View elementary schools were among the 11 KISD schools that completed food drives in time for the community effort. The total weighed 22,896 pounds.
“It’s important because we want to give to those in need,” said Brookhaven fourth-grader Evalet Jean. “We worked hard to make people happy.”
The food drive filled 25 boxes at Brookhaven. “We get to help people,” said fourth-grader Dream Jones. “It is a gift from our heart.”
“It makes me feel really happy,” said Clarmont at Harker Heights Elementary. “It will make a lot of people happy.”
“It’s really good,” said Hampton. “It’s good for our school to be a blessing to people who need it.”

Some campuses focused their food drive on families with children enrolled at their school or gave to the KISD Homeless Awareness and Response Program. One campus promoted an HEB campaign with customers donating $5 toward the drive.

"All in all," said KISD Community Relations Director Angenet Wilkerson, "KISD students and staff stepped up to the plate and hit another home run for the community."