ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - This holiday season, some Jackson County students are trying to share their blessings with those who are less fortunate. They are holding a school-wide canned food drive, and hope to beat a very ambitious goal.
The call for canned goods came out the first week of November. Within days, the food started piling up.
"I brought in cans and jelly and boxes of tuna," said 8th grader Nathaniel Groves.
"I brought in boxed goods, like Ramen noodles and stuff like that," said 8th grader Triniti Simmons.
The student council at St. Martin Middle School spearheaded the food drive to benefit the Salvation Army. It's an annual holiday project that started after Hurricane Katrina.
"It's to help out the needy and to help out people who don't have money," said Nathaniel.
Last year, the school collected about 11,000 non-perishable food items.
"We're trying to break that record," said Nathaniel:
"Right now, we're in the 2,000-3,000 range. We're a little short of our goal, but we're working on it," said Student Council Sponsor Lee Hagerty Wilson.
To get all the students to pitch-in, teachers offered incentives like Friday breaks.
"We had one 6th grade group challenge the other, and one group alone raised over 1,000 cans," she said.
The Salvation Army has already picked-up the first bins of food for Thanksgiving distribution. The food drive will resume December first and will wrap-up right before Christmas.
"I think it will mean a lot to them, because they don't have a lot and it's during the holidays. It makes me feel great that our school can do this," said Triniti.
These are lessons about compassion and generosity that extend beyond the classroom walls.
The school is also seeking donations from the community. If you'd like to contribute, just drop off your donations at St. Martin Middle School on Yellow Jacket Drive.