Cedar Lane breaks food drive record
By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Students at Cedar Lane Alternative Education broke a barrier this week.
Since Oct. 31, they have had a food drive for the Salvation Army that ultimately brought in more than 1,000 cans of non-perishable foods and other food items.
In the 14 years students at the school have had food drives for the Salvation Army, they have never been able to collect more than 1,000 food items.
Jim Barnhart, a Cedar Lane teacher, has been involved with the food drive for years.
He said the drive, which is in its 14th year this year, seems to be growing a little bigger each year.
Barnhart said he is glad to see so many of the school's students participate in the food drive this year.
Jessica Carnes, Melisa Spencer and Amanda Lemna made up this year's food drive committee.
Carnes said having the food drive has made the students who have participated feel good because they know someone is going to benefit from their effort.
Carnes said the three students who made up the committee would make a round to each classroom each morning for the duration of the food drive to inform their fellow students how the drive was going.
She also said they put up charts in the classrooms so the students could track the progress day by day.
Richard Klemm, Niles Community Schools Director of Adult and Alternative Education, is also glad that so many of the students at Cedar Lane participated in the food drive this year.
Klemm also thinks the students involved in the food drive learn something.
He said they see things may not be going their way now, but things could also be going much worse.
Klemm said Cedar Lane has a really great bunch of students this year and he thinks doing the food drive makes the students feel good, too.
Dan Voss with the Salvation Army were only too happy to pick up food from Cedar Lane on Wednesday.
Cedar Lane was the third Niles Community School they picked up food from this week, Dan said.
Eastside School had collected 943 food items, while Ring Lardner Middle School had collected over 1,600, he said.
In addition, he said, students at Niles High School are doing food drives that will benefit the Salvation Army.
Voss said the food brought in now will see the Salvation Army through the winter.
Voss said he think it's very important people in the community have food drives. Some of the food collected during the many food drives will go to prepare Christmas boxes. "Some people who may not have had a nice Christmas dinner will have so this year," he said.
Barnhart, encouraged by this year's result, said Cedar Lane will try to collect more next year.
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