ELKHART — School buses typically hold children, but this month, The Elkhart Truth hopes to fill a bus with food.
On Dec. 15, The Elkhart Truth will hold a food drive to collect non-perishable food items for children in Elkhart Community Schools.
Donations will be collected in front of the Elkhart Truth at 421 S. Second St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and placed in a school bus borrowed from the school district. Donors don’t even need to leave their cars — volunteers will come to the cars and carry donations straight to the bus.
This year the need for food donations is great, especially before winter break starts on Dec. 21, said Melodie Halvorsen, administrative assistant at The Elkhart Truth.
“The children need our help,” Halvorsen said. “They are going home for winter break, some to homes where the cupboards are bare. We have many schools with a poverty rate of 75 percent and some even higher.”
The Elkhart Truth has held a winter food drive every winter since 2008, but this is the first year the paper is using a school bus to transfer food items. Once the bus is filled with food, the donations will be delivered to Elkhart Community Schools.
While most of the food will be distributed to social workers from Title I schools, those with the highest poverty rates, the district will let all of the Elkhart school social workers know the food is available to them for any of their families in need.
”Almost all of them (the schools) take some food, even the high school counselors, as there are families in every school that are in need,” said Jodee Shaw, communications coordinator at Elkhart Community Schools.
Recommended food donations include peanut butter, jam, jelly, crackers, cereal, instant oatmeal, granola bars, Pop-Tarts, Ramen noodles, soup, hot cocoa mix, juice boxes, Capri Sun, fruit snacks, canned fruit, canned tuna or chicken, canned pasta and canned stew.
For more information call Melodie Halvorsen at 296-5804. Donations may also be dropped off at the Elkhart Truth office at 421 S. Second St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 10-14.