Williams Field students raises 12,000 pounds of food donations

Students from Williams Field High School in Gilbert raised 12,000 pounds of food for the United Food Bank. (Submitted Photo)

Williams Field High School students unpacked more than 12,000 pounds of food Monday, Nov. 19 at United Food Bank that will soon become meals for families in need.

The effort was the culmination of the eighth annual Stuff the Bus Food Drive. Students from the Gilbert school spent more than four weeks gathering the food and donations at events, grocery stores, football games and in their classrooms.

The result was enough food and money (more than $4,000) to provide 31,420 meals, according to a press release.

“I’ve been impressed by not only the can donations, but the monetary donations,” Williams Field’s National Honor Society sponsor Alison Wood said in a prepared statement.

“We always get a good number of monetary donations from the day at Bashas’, but also the students did ‘minute of giving’ at a football game.”

Junior Ian Shewell said this was his first year being really involved with Stuff the Bus. He went as far as Tucson to collect cans from a business there.

“Ms. Heidi Zellner gave a big push and inspired me to go above and beyond and donate as much as I can,” he said in a prepared statement.

Ms. Zellner runs the school’s Link Crew, where Ian is a mentor to a freshman. The football team also got involved, Ian said.

“Ms. B had us come down and help at Bashas’,” he said. “I know … one in four students goes hungry every day. They go unnoticed.”

“Ms. B,” the school’s College and Career Center Specialist Mary Buscema, was one of the initiators of the program when it began several years ago and she remains a big supporter and proponent for student involvement each year.

“When you give back early in life, it makes you a more well-rounded individual and you learn to help others as they experience hard times,” Rustyn Sherer, a member of the United Food Bank Board of Directors, said in a prepared statement.

“They may not know hardship, but they will in life. Knowing people will help you is what it’s all about,” he said.
Junior Halah Berglin is a member of one of the classes that brought in more than $300 in donations.

“My first hour class was interested in doing a donation… we had all the students bring in $5 per person and we had challenges to bring in more money,” she said.

“I think it’s super important to be involved because you’re effecting so many other people. If you were in the same position, you would want as much help as you have the ability to give to others.”

The “unstuffing” of the bus was captured by Fox 10’s morning personality Cory McCluskey, who filmed it live on Nov. 19 for “Arizona Morning.”

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