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Cumberland County School recently concluded its Harvest for Hunger Food Drive benefiting the Cumberland Good Samaritans food program.

Hosted by the FFA Organization, CCHS has participated in a big way with this food drive for ten years in September, with the conclusion during the weeklong Homecoming activities.

The students presented a $2,000 check Cumberland Good Samaritans Assistant Director Melanie Phillips during the Jets’ homecoming football game half-time program. An additional $211 and 757 cans of food were collected to equate to about 5,734 pounds of food.

“We are very proud to see our high school students participating in a project that benefits their neighbors who may be in food crisis,” Phillips said. “Being involved in a community service project by helping others who may be less fortunate is an important character trait being instilled in them. FFA advisers Jason Atkinson, Terra Davis and Danny Wilson are to be commended for the work they are doing with their students.

“We certainly appreciate this partnership because it goes a long way in helping us to make a difference with local families who are struggling.”

The FFA Organization is committed to making a positive influence with the students by developing leadership potential, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

According to FFA officers Katelyn Carpenter, Abbi Miller, Kallie Hale, and Samantha Essex, the National FFA Organization is the largest student-led organization at both Cumberland County High School and in the United States.

“This year’s canned food drive was a great success,” said Miller, club vice president. “All of the students, faculty and staff loved participating in this event. We cannot wait to do this again next year.”

The top three winning classes were rewarded with a pancake breakfast provided by FFA officers and members.

Cumberland Good Samaritans has been concerned with hunger in the county for more than 35 years. The organization started as a small food pantry with this mission in mind. Today the organization has the largest food pantry in the county, distributing food to families from the offices at 281 Tenth St., and distributes food, including fresh produce, throughout the year with other area pantries.

“When looking at the food needs in this county with about 80% of children being eligible for free and reduced lunches, we know that helping families in this way is something we will be committed to for a long time to come,” said Mickey Eldridge, Cumberland Good Samaritans executive director.

“Schools are encouraged to refer their families to us when there is a need. We have programs to help in many ways when a family is facing crisis, food relief being just one of those. We couldn’t do it without our partners in the community,” Eldridge added.

“As always, many thanks go to Superintendent Janet Graham and CCHS Principal Jon Hall, who have been wonderful in supporting these efforts through the years.”

Call Cumberland Good Samaritans, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, at 931-484-3225 for more about donating or volunteering to help with their mission to provide emergency services to families in crisis.

All donations are tax deductible.