Big Load

St. Clair High School student Shaye Danna places several canned food items on the back of a truck as part of the Cops & Kids Canned Food Drive sponsored by the St. Clair Police Department. Canned and nonperishable food items were collected at each of the St. Clair R-XIII schools and then were loaded last week and taken to the Agape House.

St. Clair Police Chief Bill Hammack said that this year’s Cops & Kids Canned Food Drive was one of the most successful drives in the eight-year history of the event.

Hammack told The Missourian that 11,469 canned or nonperishable food items were donated by St. Clair R-XIII schools as well as $461.57 in cash.

“It was a very good year,” Hammack said. “Everyone did an outstanding job.”

The food drive benefits the St. Clair Agape House. The Rev. Jim Armistead has said the donated items help supply needs for about three months.

The food items were collected last week and delivered to the Agape House.

The winning school was Edgar Murray, which donated 3,011 cans. Most of the donated money came from the junior high school, Hammack said.

“The kids and the designated faculty members and administrators were fantastic again this year,” Hammack said.

Hammack and the police department have sponsored the food drive for eight years. The most items ever collected was 12,000.

“So this year was very good,” he said.

A year ago, about 8,300 canned and nonperishable items were collected and delivered to the Agape House.

In a separate drive, Eric Smith’s fifth-grade class at Edgar Murray brought in 1,100 canned food items on its own that also were delivered to the Agape House.

Smith had told The Missourian last month that his pupils came up with the community service project and that it stemmed from the Leader in Me initiative being instituted in the St. Clair school district this year. The goal was 1,000 cans.

“Well, the kids did it,” Smith told The Missourian. “What next?  Well, our class motto is ‘We are prepared to learn, serve and lead so that all may succeed.’  We have the service part down, so now I think our next goal will be concerning leadership or learning goals.”

Finally, Edgar Murray Elementary School as a whole donated 815 clothing and toy items to the Agape House as part of its annual Christmas drive.

All of the items will be donated to area children in need.