If you happen to be out grocery shopping for Thanksgiving on Saturday, you might see a school bus waiting to receive donations for the Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank.
Students and staff from all five middle schools in the Central Valley School District will be there, asking for donations for families who don’t have the money to have a Thanksgiving feast of their own.
Shelley Moffit, a teacher at Horizon Middle School, said her school has been involved in this project for the last eight or nine years. Students from the school will approach customers at the grocery stores to see if they would like to make either a donation of food or cash. Last year, Horizon students collected around 3,300 pounds of food – including 54 turkeys – for the food bank.
She said the students have a list of items the food bank needs. They can also accept other items for the food bank – the organization is in need of personal hygiene items – at each location.
Connie Nelson, food bank director, said the list includes turkeys, stuffing, canned gravy and dry packaged gravy, canned cranberries, fruit, vegetables and pumpkin, olives, evaporated milk, potatoes, cake mixes, frosting, chicken broth, Jell-O and brown sugar.
The food bank is expecting to distribute around 1,300 food baskets next week for families in need.
Heather Butner, a teacher at North Pines Middle School, said about 30 students and 10 staff members will be at their site at Fred Meyer with the students and staff from Bowdish Middle School. Not only will the students help collect donations, but they will also help unload the donations at the food bank.
North Pines was originally scheduled to be at the Yoke’s Food on Sprague Avenue, but that store recently closed. Butner said the school tried to find another location, but couldn’t.
“We were sad to see Yoke’s close,” Butner said. “We are happy to be able to participate in Fill the Bus with Bowdish, but we are hopeful to find our own location next year.”
“It’s just a great event,” Moffit said about the food drive. She noted that even when times are tough economically, people come out and still donate carts full of food.
“It just blows the kids’ minds,” she said of the community’s generosity.
She said Thanksgiving always brings out the spirit of the holiday season.
“People just feel that spirit,” she said.