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ST. MARYS — Tri Star Career Compact students of the Skills USA Club donated more than 3,800 items Friday afternoon to Agape Food Pantry as a part of the school’s annual donation.
Agape Director Kathy Bayless said the food will feed approximately 14,000 area residents in need.
“The need this year is so great,” Bayless said.
Bayless said this year, 21 area families have been homeless, and the need for food at Agape Food Pantry is great. She told the students their donation will make an impact on the lives of area residents.
“It means a lot to the child that won’t have to go to bed hungry and to the parents that won’t have to worry,” Bayless told the students. “It means a lot to the senior citizen that won’t have to choose between their medication and food.”
Tri Star Welding Instructor Todd Smith said the Tri Star staff organizes the drive every year, and the students were proactive in raising money for the food pantry.
“They (the students) set a goal and they started raising funds so they could go out and make a purchase,” he said.
He noted that many of the students donated money to the drive.
“A lot of them donated out of their pockets,” he said.
Smith said the students gave what they were able to afford.
“Most of the students in my class donated $35,” he said. “Some gave more and some gave less.”
Bayless said she was impressed with the positive attitude of the students.
“This kind of participation and enthusiasm is unbelievable,” Bayless said. “It means a lot.”
Bayless said she was proud of what the students were able to accomplish this year.
“I’m so proud of what they’ve done, and we’re (Agape Food Pantry) so privileged to have received this,” she said.
Smith said he also uses the opportunity to teach students about responsibility.
“We’re trying to teach them to be responsible people,” he said.
Smith said the school has been making donations to Agape Food Pantry for approximately 20 years. Since 2006, students have donated more than 25,000 items.