Elmwood-Murdock Student Council check presentation

Elmwood-Murdock High School Student Council members present a check to Elmwood Community Center Food Bank representative Linda Blunt Dec. 21. Students at elementary, junior high and senior high school levels raised $1,967.50 and 7,572 food items for the pantry. From left, Austin Hawks, Katelyn Vogler, Blunt, Vanessa Callaway, Cole Wendt and Massimo Lojing.

MURDOCK – Elmwood-Murdock students gave many local residents a chance to have a brighter 2019 with their sunny efforts during a 2018 food drive.

E-M students at the elementary, junior high and senior high levels participated in a month-long project to help the Elmwood Community Center Food Bank. They began collecting food and money in mid-November and spent the next few weeks gathering thousands of objects. They finished with 7,572 food items and $1,967.50 in funds.

Elmwood-Murdock High School Student Council Sponsor Nichole Justesen said she was pleased with the way the Knights responded to the project. The elementary and junior/senior high buildings both set goals of reaching 3,000 items during the campaign. Both sites surpassed those individual targets and also broke the district-wide goal of 6,000 food items.

“It was really exciting to see,” Justesen said. “When we kicked off the food drive on Nov. 19 we collected 535 cans just on that day alone, so it was a great start to it. That was a good sign for what we ended up raising overall.”

Student Council members decided to spearhead the project after they learned there was a need for supplies at Elmwood Community Center Food Bank. They traveled to many homes in both Elmwood and Murdock on the opening day to gather canned fruits, vegetables and other goods. They continued their collection work by accepting gifts from local residents at both school buildings.

Justesen said high school officials provided an extra incentive for teenagers during the food drive. The high school class that raised the most money and food items would get to eat lunch first on the final day of the campaign. The seniors won that prize with a large last-minute contribution.

“It was quite a competition,” Justesen said. “The seniors didn’t want to eat second, so they brought in $100 worth of items by the deadline at 8 a.m. to get first place. Not only did they raise a lot of food for a good cause, but they showed a lot of teamwork during the whole time too.”

Junior/senior high students collected 3,914 items and $1,244.00, and elementary students secured 3,658 items and $723.50. Elmwood-Murdock High School Student Council members Austin Hawks, Katelyn Vogler, Vanessa Callaway, Cole Wendt and Massimo Lojing presented a check for $1,967.50 to Linda Blunt at the local food bank Dec. 21.

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