Season of Giving Helps Families

Season of Giving Helps Families
By: Ryan Tate
Du Quoin students did their best to improve their results from the 2004 food drive. They not only improved, they impressed everyone involved.
Students collected more than 11,000 cans of non-perishable food for this year's can drive. That total is 3,000 more than last year. The items will help stock the Du Quoin Food Pantry.
"We've had a lot of economic troubles in the area and we've had more and more people needing help," Mike Swayne said. Swayne is the Assistant Director of the Du Quoin Food Pantry. "We have new ones come in and sign up who have never been there before."
Swayne and other didn't have high expectations this year. With people donating money, time and help for one disaster after another in 2004 and 2005, organizers didn't know if they would match 2004's numbers. With the help of Du Quoin students, they surpassed their goals.
"With all of the donations we've had it completely amazes me how people open their heart and give," Swayne said.
"I think it's going to help locally. It's going to help needy people in the community," Eighth Grader Colton Woodside said. "I am very proud of our accomplishments."
The can drive ended Tuesday. Swayne says the food will stock shelves in the Food Pantry immediately and help people in the community. Swayne estimates 250-500 people use the Pantry for food.