Students ‘Can’ Make a Difference

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SOUTH CENTRE TOWNSHIP -- Some students in the Bloomsburg area are trying to make sure people in Columbia County have good holiday meals by donating canned goods.

Central Columbia Middle School held its annual canned food drive contest and students pulled through with record-breaking numbers.

The main hallway at Central Columbia Middle School is filled with canned goods ready to be loaded onto a truck and sent to the Columbia County food pantry. There are more than 5,000 cans in this hallway, everything from corn to noodles.

"I personally have reached out to some of the local grocery stores and they have donated," said student Peter Lanza.  "I have gone door to door and over that we've collected over 200 cans."

There are more than 4,000 cans inside one classroom alone. That almost matches what the rest of the school collected.

Each homeroom competes to see which class can collect the most canned goods.

John Joseph's class is the clear winner. Joseph says he teaches the students to put themselves in other people's shoes.

"There's kids that sit right next to each other that don't know that they're struggling or their families are struggling, and so this is a small thing that we can do to be able to help," Joseph said.

"I walked around my neighborhood and collected, I think, over 100 cans and then my mom posted something on Facebook and we collected around 135 cans or something like that," said student Logan Welkom.

Corrina Yashinski's 12th birthday was on November 5 but she did not want presents.

"I had my mom text everyone that was coming to my birthday party and tell them I wanted cans or monetary donations so I could buy cans with the money," said Yashinski, adding that she got about 100 cans.

This project also teaches the students to be smart shoppers. When they go to the grocery store, they look for expiration dates on the products and they compare prices to get the best bang for their buck.

"I just like the feeling of helping those in need and it really makes me feel good," Lanza added.

On Monday, the cans will go to the Columbia County food pantry.