Students collect food for needy

ELKINS – Elkins Middle School Student Council members spearheaded a canned food collection drive that netted more than 800 cans of food. The items will be used to make 99 Christmas food baskets to help area residents in need.

Members of the H.W. Daniels Post 29 American Legion picked up the items Monday from EMS students to begin building the food baskets.

“The Elkins Middle School is typically our largest contributor for this project,” Mike Cardinal of the American Legion said. “These canned items are the main staple of the baskets to help needy families that cannot afford to prepare a decent meal on Christmas Day.

“The school collected money as well, and we will use that to add turkey, ham or chicken, depending on the family size.”

Tina Hinzman, the Elkins Middle School Student Council advisor, said she was proud of the students and staff at the school.

“We encourage each student and staff member to donate two cans of food or $2 to be used toward the food baskets,” Hinzman said. “I think about 90 percent of our school contributed to this drive. Mrs. Mabel Howell, myself and a few other teachers encouraged students by pledging to match the amount of cans donated by our homeroom students.”

Hinzman said the collection teaches students a valuable lesson.

“It is important to help others in need, especially at this time of year,” Hinzman said. “It teaches them to get involved in the community and learn about giving.”

Hinzman said all students will be rewarded Wednesday at the school with a “winter fling,” allowing students to dance, play games and enjoy a day with one another.