The SkillsUSA Food Drive recently collected 10,000 canned goods, setting a record as the most cans it has collected, according to Lindsey Matthews, career education school counselor at UniTec Career Center.
SkillsUSA is a national organization for the career and technical education students at the UniTec Career Center, and the food drive is one of the community service projects that they do annually.
In previous years, the drive has been organized as a contest between classes to see which class can bring in the highest amount of canned goods, and this year was no different.
“This year, and many years in a row now, our electrical program brought in the most donations,” said Matthews. “Our graphic department came in with a nice second.”
The friendly competition is all in good fun, but it’s also a unifying exercise.
“We look at our drive as a full building effort,” continued Matthews. “All of our programs, instructors and students contribute to the success of our drive.”
Matthews said everyone in the building does something different to pull off the food drive. Those things include passing out flyers, spreading the word, bringing in donations and helping deliver the goods collected.
“Both money and cans have always been accepted, though our drive is a majority (raiser of) money donations,” explained Matthews. “We then take all money donations to Save-A-Lot in Bonne Terre where Save-A-Lot graciously makes an at-cost order of canned goods.”
Matthews explained that one reason UniTec Career Center likes to do this drive is to teach their students the meaning of “giving and supporting others.”
This year’s drive was sponsored by Willette Home Furnishings, Hub’s Pub and Grill, Bullseye Equipment and Tool Rental, Belgrade Financial Services, J Higgins Plumbing, Holekamp Do-It Center, Save-A-Lot, First State Community Bank, Simpson Sandblasting and Painting, Mineral Area Pro Wash, Marler’s Towing, Terre Du Lac Country Club, Heartland Hearing Center LLC., Gulf, Miller’s Quick Stop, and Richard Bernard and Laurel Babbitt.
“The Bonne Terre, Desloge and surrounding area businesses and individuals have always supported UniTec programs and students in such a way that cannot be out into words,” said Matthews. “We plan to continue and grow our food drive for years to come.”
Macey Adams is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or firstname.lastname@example.org