School administrators spent Saturday at Food City in Pulaski kicking off the annual Stuff the Bus campaign to collect food for local families for Thanksgiving. That day of work was just the first in several planned to help provide local families with a great Thanksgiving meal.
The drive, being conducted at all Pulaski County schools, will be open through the end of the week. Donations will be collected at each school and at off campus locations on special dates. Some schools and different grade levels are holding competitions to see which group can collect the most donations to benefit the program.
The next locations off campus will be the Fairlawn Kroger store and Pulaski Food Lion on Saturday, November 18. A bus and school administration members will be on hand to take in donations at each location.
The program originally began several years ago with the transportation department, with Gracie Nipper, Vicki Jarrels, Troy Barkley, and Tina O’Dell heading the program up. While the drive is now being hosted by the entire school system, the transportation department is still involved and supporting the program.
“People are good and when able, they help out their neighbors,” Critzer Elementary School teacher Mrs. Daniela Brunner said. “We’ve seen a need for this, so we went to work. It’s incredible to see how people pull together to help each other. It restores your faith in humanity.”
The goal is to collect enough donations to put together at least 300 boxes, which will provide a full Thanksgiving meal to students and their families in Pulaski County. School counselors have compiled a list of families from each school with a need. Each box will contain a turkey, green beans, corn, stuffing, and desert mix, along with other items.
In addition to working with local grocery stores to set up donation points and times, the schools will also be accepting donations through the end of the week. Donations of canned food, dry goods such as pasta, dressing mix, or other boxed dry food, frozen turkeys, or financial donations can be dropped off at the front office of any Pulaski County Public School through Friday, November 17.
Boxes will be distributed Monday, November 20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Another partner, City of Refuge Pulaski, will assist with the distribution.
“City of Refuge Pulaski has been a great community asset and leader through the years,” Critzer Elementary School Principal Tony Viers said. “Once we’ve assembled the boxes, we’ll be donating all additional food to their food bank, ensuring that all of the donated items stay in Pulaski County and help Pulaski County families. They have generously offered to donate some of the items we’ll be putting in each box, and we are very happy to be able to help them with their community outreach mission.”
Saturday at Food City, over 80 turkeys were purchased and donated, along with a large collection of canned and boxed food and desert mixes. Several people also made financial donations to the cause, allowing more supplies to be purchased.
The frozen turkeys are being stored at Pulaski Elementary until the day of distribution. Other items are being stored at the school board office, where they are being sorted for distribution as they are taken in.
If you would like to donate food items or make a financial donation, feel free to drop those items at the school closest to you. The frozen turkeys are being stored at and can be dropped off at Pulaski Elementary School. Donations of all types may also be made during the Stuff the Bus events this coming Saturday, November 18, at either the Fairlawn Kroger or Pulaski Food Lion locations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.