Local churches help food bank

Children from three local churches teamed up this summer to donate 369 cans of food to the Interfaith Food Bank.

Lutheran Church of Grace, St. Mark's Episcopal Church and St. Michael's Catholic Church worked together to donate the cans as part of the "Kids for Kans" food drive.

The food drive started at the end of last school year and ended on Labor Day.

Kids were encouraged to bring in as many cans as they could and were awarded prizes for the cans they brought.

This was the first year of the program, and organizers think they will try it again next year.

Barbara Baker, one of the organizers, said she didn't expect the children to bring in as many cans as they did.

"I was amazed," Baker said. "They did much better than I thought they would for the very first year."

Baker, who also works with the food bank, said organizers decided to do the food drive in the summer because donations usually slow down then.

Around the holidays, lots of people donate, but during the summer months, not very many people donate, she said.

"Believe it or not, people need to eat year-round," Baker said.

Baker said the outreach group at Lutheran Church of Grace and St. Mark's asked other churches to participate, but St. Michael's was the only one.

She hopes more churches participate next year.

Emily Norris, one of the high school students involved in the drive, said she will do it again next year and hopes others will join her.

"The more (cans) we get the better," the 15-year-old said.

Norris, who donated 60 cans, said she participated in the program because donations slow down during the summer.

"I wanted to raise some cans for the food bank when they really need it the most," she said.

All of the prizes kids were awarded for their donations were "fair trade" items, Baker said, meaning the people who made them were paid a fair wage.

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