Little Elm students collect seven tons of food for needy families
Photo courtesy of Julie Zwahr – Volunteers help unload the 16,440 pounds of food donated by Little Elm ISD students last week. The donation was the largest the Little Elm Area Food Bank has ever received.
Little Elm ISD students donated more than seven metric tons of food to the Little Elm Area Food Bank (LEAFB) last week, a record-breaking amount that ranks as the most the organization has ever received.
Students collected non-perishable food items during October to give to the food bank, and each of the district's eight participating campuses gathered more than 500 pounds of food toward the 16,440 total pounds donated. Oak Point Elementary donated the greatest amount at 3,481 pounds, while Little Elm High finished second at 2,850 pounds.
“We are so proud of the efforts by students and staff,” said Lynne Leuthard, Little Elm ISD Superintendent. “Many families in our community will benefit from their generosity and have food for our holiday break.”
Oak Point and Little Elm High received ice cream from Leuthard for collecting the highest totals, which were amassed through student participation in canned food drives, giving food for admission to school events and collecting donations from local businesses and organizations.
Little Elm city workers helped collect the food from the schools and the process took about three hours last Wednesday. LEAFB director Al Leistikow said that some of the food could last the food bank almost a year.
“I’m overwhelmed by the student’s efforts and their sharing,” Leistikow said. “This event proves what’s right about kids today. Instead of the negative things you hear on the news about our young people, we want folks to know the students in Little Elm are making a real difference. It is Little Elm area students helping Little Elm area families.”
LEAFB is an emergency food bank not associated with larger organizations like the North Texas Food Bank. It provides monthly aid to families for a three-month period before referring them to another organization.
New clients are provided with 120 pounds of food, and the donation provided by Little Elm ISD will accommodate up to 137 families. The food bank handles about 50 families a month and 600 a year. Those receiving aid must live within Little Elm and are required to present a photo id, a utility bill as proof of residence and additional financial information as evidence they are truly in need.
“We're here to help people who just came down with cancer or whose spouse just left them or who lost their job,” Leistikow said.
The donation from Little Elm ISD came at an opportune time, as the food bank will be particularly busy during the holiday season. LEAFB will hold special events the weekends before Thanksgiving and Christmas to give away holiday baskets that include a turkey and additional food.
LEAFB is located at 501 Bill Street in Little Elm. Those interested in donating can call 972-294-4061 or visit the food bank during normal operating hours on Monday (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.), Thursday (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.), Friday (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.) and the third Saturday of each month (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.). Those in need of assistance can call 972-294-1502 to schedule an appointment.
A video of the delivery of Little Elm ISD's donation can be viewed at http://youtu.be/XWWoX7t3eDo.
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