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Hills students collect 1,200 items during food drive

COLLECTION — Students at Hills Elementary School collected 1,214 non-perishable items for the school’s annual food drive, roughly doubling past contributions. Showing off some of items collected were, from left, student council members Leanna Roe, Kendall Canestraro, Calista Cozart and Caleb Lyons. -- Contributed

MINGO JUNCTION — Hills Elementary School students showed a real outpouring of support by collecting a record-breaking number of items for local charities.

The school conducted its annual food drive to benefit Mingo Social Services and Hills’ in-house pantry from Oct. 29-Nov. 8 and gathered 1,214 nonperishable goods in the process. Organizer Ashley Turnbull, who advises fourth-grade student council, said it was the most she has seen in her years of leading the project.

“This is way more than we’ve ever collected before,” she said. “This is my fourth year but this is the first time we’ve split [donations] because we had so much, and it stays in Mingo.”

Turnbull added that previous events generally garnered between 500 and 700 contributions, but students were beyond generous in providing canned goods and boxed items to stock the shelves. Items were delivered to Mingo Social Services could aid needy residents while Hills also could help some of its own.

“We help 12 families each week with the pantry and send items home every Friday,” she commented.

Incentives were offered to motivate students to participate with pizza parties for the top two classes, and the winners included Amy Lane’s kindergarten class and A.J. Renner’s third-grade students.

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