Pershing food drive breaks district record


For The Madera Tribune

Pershing Elementary staff and students help sort donated cans after the school held a three-week long canned food drive. The school collected more than 4,100 cans of food from 31 classes, which is the largest amount ever collected by a Madera Unified school.

 

Pershing Elementary teachers Amy Kuhn, Joyce Black and Vice-Principal Christina Riche, organized a school-wide canned food drive where students and staff could contribute. The drive lasted three weeks and the school was able to collect more than 4,100 cans of food from 31 classes, which is the largest amount ever collected by a Madera Unified school.


According to Amy Kuhn, the cans were donated to Valley West Christian Center where they will be distributing them to several families in need and an elderly facility in the community. The church will be sorting the cans for distribution in the upcoming weeks. According to the event organizers, this drive has brought out the best in the students and staff.


“This event has taught us all that one can make a difference, not just with food but with a heart that cares. Our goal in education is not just to teach the curriculum, but also to open their hearts to the feeling of giving, caring, feeling gratitude and knowing we gave back. This activity will resonate with them for years to come and, hopefully, touch each of them so much that they will continue to give with gratitude more often in the future,” said Kuhn.


The 31 classrooms also had friendly competitions during the food drive, with the top classes getting a pizza and donut party. A trophy was also created for the classroom with the highest number of cans each week. Large thermometers were created on posters and put in the school cafeteria to keep track of the donated cans.


“It just shows what great students we have. Our future looks bright because we have such caring students that care about our community and I can only imagine what they are going to do in the future,” said Vice Principal Christina Riche.


“I have been at Pershing since we opened 16-plus years ago, and we have taken part in a community food bank event like this each year,” Kuhn said. “I have never seen such generosity from our kids, our families and our staff putting their best effort forward to make this such a success. Even given a COVID school year of wearing masks, washing our hands, our families still send their students to school with bags, boxes and backpacks full of donated items. We even saw other family members getting out of the car and walking with their students to the classrooms carrying donated items with them.”