Alton Elementary collected 1,475 non-perishable items and Mrs. Chronister's sixth grade class won the pizza party for bringing in the most. Couch Elementary brought in a total of 583 non-perishable items and Mr. Alexander's second grade class won by bringing in 168. Mrs. Barbee's Kindergarten class won the pizza party at Koshkonong, which collected a total of 451 items. Mammoth Spring Elementary collected a total of 2,793 and the winning class was Mrs. Smoot's Pre-School with 1,068 items brought in. Thayer Elementary was just a few hundred items shy of winning the overall number. Students at Thayer brought in a total of 2,216 and Mrs. Koble's fourth grade class won by collecting 857 items.
Mammoth Spring Elementary won the traveling trophy for the third year in a row. The elementary schools put a tremendous effort into bringing in the canned goods. The five schools combined collected 7,518 non-perishable items.
A big incentive for children to bring in items, was a pizza party for the class from each school that brought in the most items. The parties were held the week of was Dec. 17.
For those who did not have a student to give food items to, Fin To Fur was another community collection point.
K Kountry 95, The Gift AM 1290, Fin to Fur and Century Link have sponsored the event for the past three years.
"Working with the elementary students helps them gain awareness for caring for their neighbors," organizer Lynn Hobbs said. "It is a way to encourage them to think about other people."
Hobbs was present at most of the pizza parties to thank the students for their hard work. "Boys and girls, thank you so very much, for collecting your items during the Hunger Hero campaign. One thing we hope that you learn from doing this is that there is a need in our communities, and the best way we can help is by collecting canned goods and non-perishable items. If we can help our neighbors and share with them, it makes their Christmas a little bit better. The pizza party is our way of saying thank you and congratulating you because you collected the most items."
The collection of non-perishable items means additional canned goods, sacks of flour, sugar, noodles, and other non-perishable that can be kept for several months if needed at the food pantries. "This year, I saw more toiletry items like tooth paste, bars of soap and tooth brushes. Just a collection of whatever people wanted to give, which was great because the food pantry said, "yes, we'll take them," Hobbs said.
The non-perishable items collected were donated to the Mammoth Spring and Oregon County food pantries.