Students wade through piles of food as high as their knees. They passed hundreds of boxes of pasta to each other. Some students separated canned fruits from canned vegetables. It was organized chaos.
A group of more than 50 Wayne Hills High School students have been sorting through thousands of pounds of donated food they’ll give away to needy families this Thanksgiving for their annual food drive.
Each class’ student council representatives are volunteering to help sort and manage the food.
The student-run donation drive took on added meaning this year because of all the people who lost their Thanksgiving food due to Hurricane Sandy. The food will be distributed to Sandy victims next week.
The Wayne Council of Parent Teacher Organizations is also helping run the drive.
“It took on special meaning this year because of what Sandy did to Wayne,” said David Ostern, student council president. “The spirit of it is different this year.”
The food drive is held every year during spirit week, which is normally a fun time with different themed days where students dress up in different outfits. The festivities were cancelled this year but students still wanted to hold the food drive.
Students arrive at the school at 6 a.m. to sort food. They continue after school for a few hours too.
“It’s incredible. People just keep bringing stuff in,” said Lynnea Kolpon, a freshman. “It’s amazing to be a part of something so big and so important.”
Other students said that while a lot of people in South Jersey lost everything due to Sandy, people in Wayne lost plenty too.
“Just seeing what people went through, losing power for a week or more, you feel for them,” said Bjonda Ademi, a senior. “Giving back to those people, its something everyone should be doing.”