‘Turkey Wars’ food drive at Lenape Elementary benefits needy |

‘Turkey Wars’ food drive at Lenape Elementary benefits needy

Louis B. Ruediger | Trib Total Media
Teacher Jennifer Hill helps students Jordan McCombs and Geno Mantini load boxes of food donated during Lenape Elementary's food drive last week.
Louis B. Ruediger | Trib Total Media
Ron Bennett of the Armstrong County Community Action Agency loads a box truck with food donated at Lenape Elementary School last week. Monday November 24, 2014.

Students and their families exceeded expectations by collecting 4,155 cans of food for Lenape Elementary School’s annual “Turkey Wars” food drive last week.

“This is really incredible. We’re really surprised by the generosity of our students and their parents,” said guidance counselor Ashleigh Wasson. “It speaks highly of our students and their dedication to helping others.”

The students started off strong on the first day of the drive by reaching an initial goal of 200 cans to be given to the Armstrong County Community Action Agency food bank. Then the cans just kept coming.

Sixth-grader Jordan McCombs, who helped tally donations each day of the drive, said he never expected to see such a large total.

“It’s great to see everybody cares about those in need,” McCombs said. “I think everybody realized there were families who would need all of this to have a nice Thanksgiving.”

During the “Turkey Wars,” students competed to see which classroom would bring in the most canned goods. Each item earned a paper turkey feather to attach to the donor’s classroom door.

At the end, teacher Trisha Dilick’s sixth-grade class had the most feathers — 437 — for grades four through six. Teacher Cynthia Mottura’s second-grade class collected 240 to win “war” for kindergarten through third grade.

About a half-dozen sixth-graders cut out some 2,000 turkey feathers for the contest, which they expected would be more than enough when it started. But those feathers went quickly.

“We had students cutting out their own feathers at one point, just so we could make sure they got their doors decorated,” said teacher Jennifer Hill. “They really took to it and surprised us.”

The contest is designed to show students that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to help others, Wasson said.

“It’s actually very simple to help people who are in need,” she said. “We hope the kids saw that through this food drive.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or [email protected].

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