OTTUMWA— A food drive will help students at Ottumwa High School make sure their peers are not hungry on the weekends. The food drive, collecting food through March 2, will support the OHS Food Pantry.
Student Council members now coordinate the effort started last year to provide food to students on the weekends. Council members stock the school’s food pantry, pack bags with food items, and leave them in the Welcome Center to be picked up. Packs include cans of vegetables, fruits, and proteins; grains including macaroni and cheese, cereal, and oatmeal; cartons of milk; and pudding packs. The packs use the same guidelines as the elementary backpack program.
According to Student Council advisor, Kelci Eakins, service projects are part of student council. “We like these types of projects when we get to work with kids and the community,” she said. There are 40 students actively involved in student council this year.
Student Council is partnering with Interact Club and Torch Club to help make the drive a success. They are also working with Growing Wapello Together, a consortium of over 50 individuals, businesses, and organizations who work together to improve the communication, coordination, and availability of services in our area.
This week, students are encouraging donations of canned fruit. Each week a different category will be promoted. “We talked to Mr. Hanson about getting it on announcements every day,” said Grace Bowling, a sophomore student council member. “We also have permission to put posters around the school.”
The drive also teams up a father and daughter to impact Ottumwa youth. Senior Mallory Schulz’ father, Joe Schulz, is the director for Growing Wapello Together. He is assisting the three high school clubs with the drive. A student council member, she was surprised to learn the need existed at her school and hopes the project makes an impact. “Kids will have something to eat over the weekend,” she said.