BOUNTIFUL — Every month, the Bountiful Community Food Pantry serves 600 to 700 families living between North Salt Lake and Farmington, and while that number is continually growing, food donations the pantry receives annually are decreasing.
In September, the pantry’s total food donations were 20,000 pounds less than in September 2011, said Lorna Koci, director of the food pantry.
In order to make up the difference, Bountiful High School’s Interact Club has recruited the efforts of students at the high school, as well as those from a dozen of their neighboring junior high and elementary schools.
“Every food drive is important, and Bountiful High’s food drive is one of those helping us fill in the gap,” Koci said.
After several weeks of food collection at each of the participating schools, Interact Club members picked up the food Friday and loaded it onto a semitrailer provided by the food pantry.
Steady snow did not deter the students, though some commented on how chilly it was while they sorted through the food to put in the right bins inside the truck.
“It was a little bit hard because it was really cold in the trailer. But the fact that we were helping out and that my friends were there made it worth it,” said senior Kaitlyn Tullis.
Tullis joined the club because she enjoys volunteer work and helping other people — the main goal of the Interact Club.
The most interesting food Tullis said she came across during the sorting was a can of pink salmon. The most common items donated were cans of soup, she said.
Though senior Shannon Engberson, president of the Interact Club, was excited to see all of the food accruing, filling most of the 18-wheeler, it was not her main reason for doing the food drive.
“The food drive isn’t necessarily my motivation, but rather helping other people, so this is one way to achieve that,” she said.
Helping the students serve others is exactly why Bountiful High School teacher Jan Wray enjoys working as the club adviser.
“We’re making these students become lifelong lovers of service, and I love that I can help them love service as much as I do,” Wray said.
“I find that kids that give service are more on top of everything because they seem to get their homework and assignments done on time and still work service around their schedule.”
Interact is part of Rotary International, the worldwide service organization.