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Niles High School students raised money and filled a trailer full of food during the Stuff a Bus annual food drive last year. The drive will take place once again this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Martin's Supermarket on South 11th Street in Niles to benefit the Niles-Buchanan Salvation Army. (Daily Star Photo/Provided)
Niles High School students raised money and filled a trailer full of food during the Stuff a Bus annual food drive last year. The drive will take place once again this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Martin's Supermarket on South 11th Street in Niles to benefit the Niles-Buchanan Salvation Army. (Daily Star Photo/Provided)

Archived Story

NHS students ‘Stuff a Bus’

Published 9:12am Wednesday, October 28, 2009

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

It is the start of the giving season and Niles High School students are getting a jump on things with their annual Stuff a Bus food drive taking place at Martin’s Supermarket on South 11th Street this Saturday.

The annual drive is just one of the districts ways of giving back to its community and this particular effort is fueled by the student council.

“It kind of is amazing,” NHS guidance counselor Jenny Freeze said.

Last year the food drive netted between $500 and $1,000 in monetary donations on top of a trailer filled with food and other necessities like soap.

“We donate all the canned goods and any monetary donations to the Niles-Buchanan Salvation Army,” Freeze said.

Martin’s Supermarkets, the Electrical Worker’s Union and 103.9 FM The Bear sponsor the drive which Freeze said has been going on for 14 years. This is her fifth year of taking part.

Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. this Saturday, members of the student council will be on hand at Martin’s Supermarket to hand out informational sheets on items the group is looking for and take any and all donations.

“We get quite a few people out to donate,” Freeze said.

Though times are tough, Freeze said the generosity of the community has been evident. Last year she said the thought was that donations might be less than usual, considering the economic pressures being felt by so many.

But Freeze said she thinks the group received even more than the previous year – though exact figures weren’t available.

“More and more there’s just so much more need” at area food pantries, Freeze said. “They have more need than what they can cover.”

The drive is also a good lesson for students in community involvement and of the hardship and need felt by so many in the area.

“I think that they recognize a need,” Freeze said of those students who take part in the Stuff a Bus drive. “And I think they also learn how to be giving … They’re pretty thankful.”

The experience, she added, gives students a chance to see the “generosity of the community” as one by one, a donated box of cereal, can of soup or monetary pledge results in a truckload of hope for so many, making this one Halloween that will be filled with treats for one area food pantry and plenty of those in need.

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