Local high schools will show their school spirit when they “Stuff a Truck” with food for area backpack food programs next week.
What started as a service project for Mount Airy High School cheerleaders has grown until it now encompasses Mount Airy High School, Surry Central, and the Interact Clubs of both high schools and Mount Airy Middle School, as well as Mount Airy Rotary Club, according to Mount Airy cheerleading mom Sandy Cave.
When Mount Airy and Surry Central meet at Wallace Shelton Stadium Sept. 21 for their annual football game, there will be two trucks at the gates: one for each school. Folks attending the game are asked to bring non-perishable, kid-friendly food and place it in the corresponding truck with which their allegiance lies between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The drive ends at the 7:30 kickoff.
Afterward, the food will be distributed to the backpack programs of Surry County and Mount Airy City schools.
“Rotary came right to mind,” said Cave, when the project first began to take form.
She asked Ben Cooke, Rotary president and a city school board member, if the club was interested in partnering on the project. The group was interested, and Rotary has offered a $100 cash prize to the school which collects the most food.
“We’re collecting food at school,” said Melissa Ogle, MAHS Interact Club faculty sponsor. “We’re looking for mac and cheese, pop tarts, things that kids like that are easy to prepare.”
“We want to alleviate hunger in our area, so no kid goes hungry,” said Lenise Lynch, who is Mount Airy Rotary’s R.U.S.H. chair. (R.U.S.H. is an acronym for Rotarians United to Stop Hunger.)
Speaking on the focus and attention given recently to school backpack programs, Lynch said, “the community is getting more involved in making sure no kid goes hungry. We are doing as much as we can to make sure children are fed. So many companies and individuals donating to the cause are blessed, and being a blessing to others by making a bigger difference than we have in the past.”
Lynch went on to say that doesn’t mean the food pantries aren’t struggling, but she feels more people are working harder to do a better job at alleviating hunger.
“We’re really going hard at this,” said Lynch. “It’s a motivational-type thing for the Interact Clubs in the schools. The $100 prize donated by Rotary will be used by the winning Interact Club to fund their service projects going forward in the school year.
“The trucks we got to stuff are pickups,” said Cave, “but maybe we need bigger trucks.”
Stuff a Truck donations of kid-friendly, non-perishable food can be brought to the Surry Central vs. Mount Airy football game at Mount Airy High School on Sept. 21 between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Prior to the game, donations can be dropped off at Northside Mortgage Group, 176 N. Renfro St., (attention Sandy Cave), or at the Hampton Inn, 2029 Rockford St., (attention Lenise Lynch).
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.