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Kirkwood Schools Support Kirkcare Holiday Basket Event and Collect Over 13,000 Items for Annual Drive

Every December, Kirkcare, a local food pantry that supports families that reside in the Kirkwood School District (KSD), seeks donations for their annual “Holiday Basket Event.” The event provides Holiday Baskets to over 250 families living within KSD. Each basket includes a variety of non-perishable nutritious food, Schnucks perishable food voucher, paper products, and personal care products. Each family can receive up to three Holiday baskets depending on family size and select from a variety of warm clothing items needed.

This year, students and staff at KSD schools organized different collection initiatives to seek donations. Their collective work resulted in over 9,000 items collected and $1,304 dollars donated to Kirkcare.

“The Holiday Basket Event produced over 300 baskets for approximately 250 families in our area,” said Kirkcare executive director Larry Watson. “We would not be prepared for this event without KSD’s help. The smiles and appreciation we receive during this event are incredible. making the Holidays brighter for families within our community. The tremendous KSD November food drive and donations were amazing in making this year’s Holiday Basket Event a success.  Because of KSD's fantastic participation, we were able to increase the variety and size of items included in our baskets this year.”

At Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood Youth Services (KYS) led collection efforts by organizing a challenge amongst the first period classes. Students brought in donations to their homeroom, and the winning homeroom won a donut party. The challenge led to $1,300 in cash, and 1,165 cans collected.

North Glendale held their annual food drive challenge against Bristol Elementary in the Webster Groves School District. For over 10 years, the schools host a friendly challenge to see which school collects the most items, and the school with the most collections earns the Food Drive Challenge Trophy to be displayed in the winning school’s main office. North Glendale won the challenge with a collection of 2,544 items.

Keysor hosted a unique challenge. The school partnered with Splunk and organized a “CANdoIT CANgineering” challenge. Splunk, a company that produces software for searching, monitoring, and analyzing data, donated $500 of canned goods and employee support to the project. This project was coordinated by Keysor parent and Splunk employee Loretta McCoy. Also, students were encouraged to bring in donations to their grade level class. Each grade level used their engineering, design and creative thinking skills to collaborate on a sports-themed structure:

Kindergarten soccer

1st-grade hockey

2nd-grade basketball

3rd-grade mini golf

4th-grade tennis

5th-grade football

The project netted 60 heavy, full boxes of food of approximately 2,500 items. A video of the project can be viewed on the Splunk youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfaiQbSmDgM

Tillman conducted a school-wide drive and collected 450 items for Kirkcare. Westchester third grade students organized the school-wide collection of over 440 items for Kirkcare. Robinson staff brought in over 100 items for the collection. 

In October, KSD collected for “World Food Day,” which netted over 4,000 items to Kirkcare. Nipher and North Kirkwood Middle School students contributed heavily to this food drive. The two food drives have collectively netted over 13,000 items to Kirkcare.

Dr. Michele Condon is beyond grateful to the donations collects from KSD schools for Kirkcare. “Learning about the collection totals from our schools took my breath away,” said Condon. “Our schools collecting over 13,000 items in under three months is amazing. This averages out to each student and staff member in the District donating at least two items to Kirkcare! We are a proud supporter of Kirkcare, and all they do for our families.”