HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - For many high schools, homecoming is a big week of celebration. At Hancock High, that celebration is used to help others in a big way. The high school holds an annual canned food drive during the week, and it has proven to be a success.
When you see a pile of canned goods stacked up at Hancock High, it might be safe to assume that homecoming week has just ended. In addition to the usual homecoming festivities, the students celebrate a tradition of giving.
"This is just a great way to get everyone involved, get the whole school involved in a charitable event," said student body president Grant Cullom.
According to Cullom, each class is challenged with collecting the most canned goods. Once the collection period ends, the cans are taken out onto the football field.
"We line them up straight in a line and we see who can make it to the end zone and who can have the longest canned food line," said Cullom.
This year, the seniors can claim bragging rights for more than one reason. Not only did they beat the other classes, they also broke their own record. Their cans made it past the end zone.
When added to the other classes' contributions, that's a lot of food.
"I mean that's an enormous amount of cans. That's nearly 300 yards of cans," said student council sponsor Heather Spengler.
All of that food is donated to the Hancock County Food Pantry. The pantry estimated the weight of the cans totaled about 4,500 pounds.
"This is one of the largest amounts of food that I've seen brought in," said pantry volunteer Jim Sweetman.
Spengler said the food drive benefits those in need, as well as the students. She said the entire student body learns an extremely valuable lesson throughout the process.
"We teach them to think globally and that this world is theirs, and that they're the new generation coming up," said Spengler.
According to Spengler, this year's collection beat the overall school record.