Students collect thousands of food items for annual donation drive

Students collected thousands of food items for a food pantry. (WTHR, Dustin Grove)

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) —The fifth graders at Our Lady of Grace Catholic School celebrated a new record Friday. They’d collected 19,000 food items, totaling more than 6,000 pounds in their annual donation drive for St. Vincent de Paul.

“Are those kids awesome or what?” Pantry Manager Dee Ricciardi said as the students finished unloading boxes from a large truck. “It’s astronomical!”

Ricciardi noted the need for food assistance continues to grow in Hamilton County.

Thousands of food items were loaded onto a truck to for the St. Vincent de Paul annual donation drive. (WTHR, Dustin Grove)

“We continue to grow,” she said. “Every week we have another five, 10, 15 new families coming in.”

Families make nearly 1,500 trips to the pantry each month.

According to the nonprofit organization Feeding America, more than 25,000 people are food insecure in Hamilton County. Half of them are children. Food insecure means they don’t have adequate access or means to a healthy meal on their own.

“It feels good to help,” said one student as they prepared to leave.

“It’s great to help people in need,” said another.

Ricciardi said the food collected by students is enough to last three weeks.

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