Community

Oak Harbor school kids fill bus full of food

North Whidbey Middle School students Mac Nuanex and Hannah Nordquist show some of the approximately 6,000 food items collected to benefit the North Whidbey Help House.  - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
North Whidbey Middle School students Mac Nuanex and Hannah Nordquist show some of the approximately 6,000 food items collected to benefit the North Whidbey Help House.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

Kind-hearted North Whidbey Middle School students are doing their part to make sure people have enough to eat this holiday season.

They spent the past several weeks coordinating a food drive that filled an 84-passenger school bus with thousands of edible items that were delivered to North Whidbey Help House Friday.

“I can’t believe they got over 6,000 items,” Help House Executive Director Jean Wieman said. “This will be a tremendous help.”

Approximately 600 families a month have been seeking help from the Oak Harbor food bank, while officials have been seeing a decline in the amount of donations during these tough times. Help House offers families in need one bag of groceries per month and baked goods and produce two times a week.

The North Whidbey Middle School students are part of the Builders Club, which is sponsored by the Kiwanis. They started organizing the “Fill the Bus” food drive in October.

“It was a great opportunity to help the community,” seventh-grader Connor Hendrix said while moving boxes of food to the Help House storage building.

“It’s fun donating stuff to people,” seventh-grader Erica Sugatan added.

Along with Sugatan and Hendrix, Builders Club members Mac Nuanez, Hannah Nordquist and Andrew Pierzchala and teachers Larry Falcon and Maryann Duhrkopf were among the people unloading the bus.

Before arriving at the Help House facility on SE Hathaway Street, the teachers and students stopped at Crescent Harbor Elementary, Olympic View Elementary and Oak Harbor Elementary to collect enough food to fill the 40-foot-long bus. It was enough to fill six pallets full of non-perishable food items.

North Whidbey Help House is located at 1091 SE Hathaway St. Normal business hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday. It’s closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch. Call 675-0681 for more information.

 

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