Colts collect cache of cans

Gruening students donate to local food pantry


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Analisa Cederberg, left, and Sarah Wilson place food items into boxes before loading them into a truck Thursday, Oct. 18. Gruening Middle School donated more than 2,220 items to the Eagle River Church of God Food Pantry.

MIKE NESPER

Chugiak-Eagle River’s shelves have been restocked — and it’s all thanks to Gruening Middle School.

Recently, students collected more than 2,200 items and donated them to the Eagle River Church of God Food Pantry.

The school-wide competition, headed by the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and student government, was held over a two-week period.

“This year, we had a really great turnout,” student government advisor Tonya Shakhov said after seventh and eighth graders loaded all the donations into a truck Thursday, Oct. 18.

Gruening held its own food drive this year because it wanted to benefit the Chugiak-Eagle River community, said NJHS advisor Terri Semmler. The Anchorage School District holds a district wide drive each year, she said, but the food stays in the city.

“We wanted to support Eagle River,” said eighth grader Dayton Denter.

The winning group was team Chena River, which collected 900 items. The Copper River team collected 750.

Though it was a friendly contest between Gruening’s six teams, the student body was more concerned with helping others, said eighth grader Jasmine Carter.

“It was kind of like a competition,” she said. “But everything was for a good cause.”

The entire school supported the food drive, said seventh grader Analisa Cederberg.

“Every team brought in a lot of cans,” she said.

Being able to help others made all Gruening students feel good, Cederberg said.

“They were proud of themselves,” she said.

The teachers were proud, too, Semmler said.

“A lot of kids like being able to do good things for the community,” she said.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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