SUSSEX — Students from the High Point Regional High School collected more than 2,7000 pounds of food on Thursday, Dec. 19 in the annual Fill the Bus charity event.
It is part of a program called “Champions for Charity,” where high schools across the county take part in a friendly competition to collect the most food donations that will go directly to the Sussex County Food Pantry.
The program is in its fifth year, and to date, students participating in these events have collected more than 257,000 pounds of food for the pantry. Whether students “fill” or “stuff” the bus, the goal is the same: to help needy local citizens.
Despite a sunny sky, the temperature didn’t break 30 degrees. This did not deter students from venturing outside to complete the long bucket brigade chain of boxes and cans to the food pantry’s bus. Their slight discomfort in the frigid weather as they passed items down the line served as a sobering reminder of the everyday conditions of the less fortunate.
Members of the student committee behind the promotion of the event were shocked to see the quantity of food their peers brought in.
"I would love to see the faces of the volunteers sat the pantry as the food is unloaded off the bus," committee member Elizabeth Howe said. "This event is a good way for the students of HPRHS to come teogether as a family — all grades mixing together to make the event successful."
Another committee member, Sarah Turo, said they worked with club advisers and coaches to spread the word and planned a pizza party for the club or organization that collected the most items.
Principal Jonathan Tallamy participated in the event as more than an onlooker, packing up boxes with the students.
“The kids did a great job at the food drive this year,” he said. “We have a great community that really came together and were very supportive of the event. It’s really a great school event for us to come together and have a chance for all the kids to participate.”