KINGSPORT — The city’s Robinson Middle School collected more than 14,000 cans in its recent food drive, which works out to almost 20 cans per student.
But Robinson students were far from alone as schools across the system had or are having food drives to help feed folks in need.
With 14,428 cans collected in a school with 820 students, Robinson Principal Jim Nash said he was taken aback by the food drive. But he said he was even more surprised when he got information about food drives from other Kingsport schools.
Robinson students — with help from a donation of 1,000 cans from the Kiwanis Club, donations from Target and help from Temple Baptist Church — more than doubled the school’s goal.
For distribution, the food went to the school system’s Family Resource Center, the Homeless Education Program and Temple Baptist.
“These cans will help many families, even in our own school,” said seventh-grader Corinne Rose, whose class won a friendly competition at that grade level.
Corinne, Nash and three other Robinson students in winning classes spoke about the food drive at the Board of Education meeting last week.
Corinne and seventh-grader Cooper Bunch said the drive was not about winning a pizza party for their classes but helping others. Cooper said some classes brought in 50 or more cans of food in a single day.
“Thank you for helping,” Cooper said to those who assisted with the food drive. “Next year, let’s try a little better.”
Seventh-grader Julian Chastain and eighth-grader Catherine Carr also appeared before the board.
“We take the canned food drive seriously,” Nash told the board. The goal was 7,000 and last year’s collection was 9,000.
According to a report Nash gave and information from individual schools:
•Adams Elementary’s “Barter for Bowls” program provided 200 food items. Students glazed 200 bowls that were exchanged for boxes of rice, beans, and cornbread.
•At Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee a “canstruction” process is underway.
As part of the Modern Living Unit, the eighth-graders are designing and creating their canstruction projects.
The students have been studying the Industrial Revolution, so their canstruction creation will represent one of the inventions from that time period. There are seven groups and each group will need close to 1,000 cans for their project or about 7,000 cans total.
Students have been busy collecting canned goods that will be used for their project and then will be given to area food banks when the project is done.
The projects will be showcased on IA’s Holiday Celebration night, scheduled for Thursday from 6-6:30 p.m. in the eighth-grade hall.
• At Jackson Elementary, students collected about 500 pounds of food for the city school systems’s Family Resource Center. The Student Council initiated the food drive.
• Jefferson Elementary students collected 600 pounds of food for the Family Resource Center.
• Students at Johnson Elementary collected food at school and at the Food City Fall Festival for the Homeless Education Program. It was lead by a Helping Hands group of girls who came up with the idea.
• Lincoln Elementary’s drive is under way with community projects to collect canned food.
• Roosevelt Elementary’s student-led food drive brought in more than 680 pounds of food, supporting the West View Baptist Church Food Pantry.
• At Washington Elementary, a holiday food drive supporting Washington families in need is under way through Wednesday, with food to be distributed Thursday.
• Cora Cox Academy students collected about 200 pounds of food for Hunger First. Cora Cox is the city’s alternative school for grades 6-12.
• At Sevier Middle, a food drive operated by the Student Council helped support the Homeless Education Program.
• And at Dobyns-Bennett High school, a food and financial drive was conducted by the Beta Club and Reserve Officer Training Corps program.
Combined with collection events at Walmart and Kroger, the school collected 35,926 pounds of food.
The Student Council collected 1,282 pounds of food, while ROTC raised $1,977.
“It’s obvious all these schools worked hard at it,” Nash said.