MAMMOTH SPRING, AR (KAIT) - One of the smallest schools in Region 8 responded in the biggest way to help those who are hungry this holiday season.
Food drives this year are especially important. 5 elementary schools have joined up with their communities and K Kountry 95 radio in Thayer to be "Hunger Heroes."
Today I went to Mammoth Spring Elementary school to watch them load up the trucks.
Mammoth Spring Elementary school principal Wade Powell watched as High School FFA and East Lab students rolled out carts of canned and dry food and loaded them onto a truck from Hirsch Seed.
I asked Powell if he was surprised at the amount gathered.
"We always have good participation in any fund raising event and anything like this that we do. Not surprised totally but somewhat surprised at the extent. "
More than Six Thousand food items were donated at Mammoth Spring for their food pantry. The other schools at Alton, Couch, Koshkonong and Thayer contributed another 6 Thousand for the Oregon County food pantry.
And they must be teaching something right at the schools. One whole trailer load was donated by the smallest and the youngest students at the elementary school.
Ms. Smoots and Mrs. Turnbough's classes of pre-schoolers gathered up over 2 Thousand food items.
Ms. Smoot said the families and the students really got into the spirit of giving.
Smoot, "We had a unit this month on giving. And I think they understood the concept that other people need things and that was the purpose of it."
As a reward the class that gathered in the most received a Subway party.
Smoot, "Our class paid forward their party and gave it to the second place classroom which is a second grade classroom. Now two classes will get parties."
There was so much gathered in that the food pantry in Mammoth Spring couldn't store it all in their small building. The food was divided up in a couple of places for sorting until it was needed. Jennifer Crowe one of the food pantry coordinators said this is a good problem to have.
Crowe, "Last year they collected 2 Thousand items of food so that is what we had in mind. So when they told us it was over 6 Thousand items we we had to find some place to sort it and then get it out to the pantry."
Crowe said the pantry has been in place since 2007 and there has been a steadily growing need in the area.
Crowe, "And we see our numbers increase every month. Last month we had 64 families that's the most we've ever had. We are anticipating 75 families by mid summer."
Crowe said the food gathered with this month long food drive should last well into the year ahead.
Crowe, "We have distribution next Monday and a lot of this food will go out and that will make a lot of families happy."
You can still make food contributions up till Christmas Eve at the Subway in Thayer or Mountain View and at Hirsch Feed and Farm Supply in Thayer.