‘Stuff the Bus’ Food Drive Shatters 2019 Total

‘Stuff the Bus’ Food Drive Shatters 2019 Total
Posted on 11/01/2020
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food drive resultsIn a year when our local food pantry provided 645 emergency food boxes in a little over a month, the Lakota Board of Education’s annual “Stuff the Bus” food drive tradition was more critical than ever. Students, staff and families topped last year’s grand total of 12,000 pounds, donating nearly 15,500 pounds of food and other essentials.  


“This year has been a trying one on many different levels, but the ‘WE are Lakota’ community has proven time and again that ‘WE can’ do great things together,” said Lakota Board President Brad Lovell. “Thank you to everyone who realized the need and stepped up to help in a big way.” 


This is the 13th year that the school board has sponsored the district-wide food drive for Reach Out Lakota, the primary relief organization for families in West Chester and Liberty townships. This year’s theme, “WE Can,” not only sets the tone for an academic year marked by perseverance, but also a commitment to carry on important community-reaching traditions such as this food drive.


“Reach Out Lakota is such a tremendous partner that does so much for our families,” said Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller. “This was certainly not the year to let up on our usual level of support for Reach Out Lakota and I am so impressed with how our families responded to the challenge.” 


The drive brought in more than 16,800 items with Cherokee Elementary leading the charge this year. The school’s collection accounted for nearly 20 percent of the grand total, an accomplishment that earns them an extended visit from Lakota’s newest therapy dog, Biggs. Cherokee was also one of several Lakota schools that issued its own challenge, competing against Endeavor Elementary. As a result, Cherokee students will be welcome back to school this Thursday by Endeavor’s principal dressed as a Cherokee Cheetah. 


Next year, the district hopes to return to the friendly crosstown competition that stacks Lakota up against neighboring school districts collecting donations for their own relief organizations. The recent twist on Lakota’s long-standing tradition has yielded even bigger results positively impacting multiple communities. 


The district-wide food drive and other collections held at Lakota schools account for the majority of the annual food donations stocking the shelves at Reach Out Lakota. In 2019, the organization gave out over 127,000 meals to more than 8,000 people. That’s the equivalent of more than 152,000 pounds of food valued at over $250,000.