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All-school food drive brings in record totals

Debbie Christian - Reporter file photo
Debbie Christian
— image credit: Reporter file photo

Reporter staff

Auburn has the only school district in the nation that goes all in – wall-to-wall for a food drive.

That is, every March, every school does its bit to benefit the Auburn Food Bank.Even so, Debbie Christian's eyes bugged out and her jaw dropped when she saw what the kids made happen in this year's all-school food drive.

All told, March's friendly competition of school against school brought in a record 62,374.4 pounds of food and $24,291.18. That, Christian, executive director of the food bank, calculated, is 16.19 pounds of food per student in the school district.

"Incredible. The kids did a great job, and I'm not sure what sparked it this year over last, or the year before that," Christian said. "Ten years of support is incredible, so we tried to really promote that it's important to have made that kind of a milestone.

"You get some towns that say, 'Oh, the high school does it,' or 'the elementary does it,' but Auburn does it all-school," Christian said. "This year they get to keep their trophies. So the school's that had their names on there the most were pretty excited about making sure they got to keep it this year."

Here are the first-place winners in each category (high school, middle school, elementary school; formula for winning is based on pounds per student):

Auburn Mountainview High School, 7,336.62 cash/pounds total = $4.82 pounds per student; Olympic Middle School, 7,966 cash/pounds total = $11.65 pounds per student; and Hazelwood Elementary, 10,454.71 cash/pounds total = $18.31 pounds per student.

"The money was also a big surprise, almost $5,000 more than it was last year, and it's considerably up over the years before that," Christian said.

Christian emphasized how important the food drive is to the food bank.

"It comes at a time when donations are low, and our number of households served is high," Christian said. "We are currently up (comparing 2013 to now) by 866 household visits this year. Some days I wonder where all the food that we need will come from – then you come through.

"I am going to be able to stretch this … I can't say it any other way ... thank you from the bottom of my heart."

To donate or to learn more, call the food bank at 253-833-8925 or www.theauburnfoodbank.org.

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All-school food drive numbers by the years

2005: 45,395 pounds, $817
2006: 63,821 pounds $4,804
2007: 63,837 pounds, $8,073
2008: 65,529 pounds, $7,662
2009: 56,568 pounds, $18,869
2010: 51,680 pounds, $16,872
2011: 53,607 pounds, $13,270
2012: 57,982 pounds, $19,339
2013: 46,153 pounds, $12,953
2014: 62,374.4 pounds, $24,291.18

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