Craig Middle School gathers cans, $2,700 in funds for food drive | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Middle School gathers cans, $2,700 in funds for food drive

Sixth-grade teachers and students of Craig Middle School unfurl a specially made check for more than $2,700 on behalf of the Interfaith Food Bank. CMS collected funds and canned goods for the effort during the past several weeks, and with the monetary donation equaling four cans per dollar, the total number of nonperishable food items was more than 14,000.

Giving for the sake of giving this time of year is its own reward, but a little extra incentive never hurts.

The students of Craig Middle School went above and beyond in recent weeks collecting food and funds on behalf of the Interfaith Food Bank, coming up with a grand tally of more than 14,000 nonperishable food items.

The number comes from the cans and other such foodstuffs combined with monetary donations in the amount of $2,768.81, which school organizers tabulated as 25 cents equaling one can.

"I think it will probably help them to have the dollars as much as the food," said CMS sixth-grade teacher Vicki Blomquist, who has helped oversee the project since late October.

The money came in from multiple sources, including a Fall Harvest Dance with entertainment provided by KC Hume and family and concessions sales. A gift card donated by Walmart also assisted in CMS's efforts.

The monetary amount is less than the $3,376 CMS students gathered last year, but the number of cans remains on track.

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Blomquist said more than half the donations came from sixth-graders, and the students in Blomquist's and Kimberly Heater's classes took the honors of the top collectors, earning an ice-skating party later in the school year.

Those who brought in 50 items or more also received a special lunch with Principal Dave Grabowski and Assistant Principal John Haddan. Sixth-grader Jack Doane collected more than 1,000 cans, winning an iTunes gift card.

"I think it's phenomenal seeing these kids with all this food," Grabowski said Wednesday afternoon as he assisted students in loading a van with their cans and other materials.

Blomquist said she could tell kids understood the impact their work can have on others struggling to keep food on the table.

"You can't make kids bring things in," Blomquist said. "They have to have that intrinsic motivation to do it."

Sixth-grader Joshua Townsend was among helping with the loading Wednesday.

"I really think it's a good cause," he said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.