Mrs. Dottie Colletta, the Treasurer at Grace Food Pantry, has been organizing a monthly food drive. The donations are given to Grace Food Pantry and the Weekend Food Backpack Program in the local schools. Previously, Belle Terre Elementary School raised 4,200 pounds of food for donation, and it is their month again to see if they can reach or surpass their previous donation.
Each month a different school tries to collect as much canned food as possible in a week. March was BTES’s month to collect donations between March 20th to March 31st. The food was collected in recycle bins placed in each classroom. They only collected nonperishable food items such as canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, granola bars, etc. The students were given lists of different foods that they could bring in for the charities.
At the end of the drive the BTES Ambassadors (a select group of 6th grade students) collected the containers and put them in one central location. Then the following Monday Mrs. Colletta and her helpers came and picked up the food donations. They weighed the donations and returned with the total amount in pounds.
BTES has collected over 4,200 pounds for the second time, thus reaching their goal. To increase the students interest in the food drive, BTES made it a competition. There were different winners for each of the grade levels based on the amount of food each class collected. The winner with the most nonperishable foods donated won an ice cream party. The class that collected the most throughout the whole school won a pizza party. Many of the teachers also gave the students incentives to bring in donations such as homework passes, assignment passes, classroom “money”, and so on.
The class winners for each grade level were:
K – Angeliki Lekos
1 – Karen Gargon
2 – Jordan Wood
3 – Agatha Lee
4 – Melissa Anderson
5 – Heather Foss
6 – Abbey Cooke
ESE – Melisa Cullings
“And the school winner, with 202 items, is Mrs. Cullings! We collected almost 3,500 items!” according to Mrs. Abbey Cooke. This is a huge accomplishment for BTES and the Grace Food Pantry.