Kids donate 7.5M pounds to food bank in 28 years - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Kids donate 7.5M pounds to food bank in 28 years

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

For nearly three decades students from all over the Mid-South have donated 7.5 million pounds of canned food to the Mid-South Food Bank for those in need.

The can collection is part of the food bank's annual Kids Kan program.

Students at Bellevue Middle School in Memphis have taken a very dedicated and serious approach. For the past two decades they have donated the most pounds to the food bank.

"I know there are people in need, so if I know that I'm bringing something that I don't need right now, I'm helping somebody that needs it," said Kiahra Thompson, sixth grader.

David Stephens, who helps run the food bank, said the can collection all students partake in is vital.

"There are so many kids out there -- about 35 percent of the kids that are out there go hungry on a daily basis," he said.

Between 80 and 90 percent of Bellevue Middle students are on the free or reduced lunch program, so this food drive hits close to home.

"We're just a team, a family at our school," said Kevin Malone, principal. "We tell people all the time we're the Bellevue family and we really mean that. It's not just a cliche'. We really, truly embrace the family concept and we're trying to teach our kids the benefit of helping others. That's part of being in our family."

Several Bellevue students say they see it in their own neighborhoods, and that's why they want to help.

"I like giving back to the community," said eighth grader Theotis Evans.

"If you were in that situation, you would want that same person to give back to you," added eighth grader Paige Harris.

One of the reasons Bellevue Middle has continually contributed the most to the food bank is the school's competitive spirit.

"We're very competitive at our school. We want to be No.1 at everything," Principal Malone said. "We want to be No. 1 at athletics, with academics. We pride ourselves on things like TCAP scores. But when it comes to Kids Kans? It's probably one of the most important things that we do."

"We are challenging everyone to get involved and to start donating those kids cans," added Linda Street, the school's Kid Kan coordinator. "Please bring in your cans so we can make it 21 years."

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