Ever since Fisher Elementary started a food drive to benefit the local Project Hope Food Bank during the 2017-2018 school year, students have had a chance to do plenty more than give. They’ve been able to learn.
“We started this food drive to help create a sense of belonging for students in our home community,” says Tausha Caldarella, Fisher counselor. “It has grown to become an amazing demonstration of love, service and compassion for their community. Students get excited to help provide support to others, even to families within their own school who use Project Hope.”
This year’s food drive runs Jan. 31 through Feb. 8. Fisher classrooms compete to bring in the most non-perishable food items, helping the local food bank that serves within the Lynden Schools boundaries. The class with the most food earns a Popsicles with the Principal event.
“We partner with Project Help to help provide more support to the families we serve and to build a stronger community,” Caldarella says. This year, the drive will collect items beyond just food.
Last year, the Fisher community exceeded their giving over the previous year by 687 pounds, donating 3,249 pounds of food to Project Hope. “It was an amazing amount considering that the giving was right in the middle of a pandemic, when families were all feeling the financial strain and struggle,” Caldarella says. Students brought in 5,876 items last year. The entire Fisher community pitched in and one grandfather even brought a truckload of canned goods to support the drive.
Caldarella says the students get excited about the annual event and she hears how much they love to help families and how the students feel good about their opportunity to know they are supporting others and making those in their community happy.
“Our student body loves to help others,” she says. “They are learning to create belonging through the simple act of providing food for those in need. Our hope this year is to continue this legacy of support and encourage kids to think outside the box in more ways they can create belonging.”