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LHS finds messy way to fill the Food Bank

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By John Barnhart

A canned food drive at Liberty High School (LHS) received an enthusiastic response from the students. They brought 1,385 cans to school. The teens had an incentive.  The drive included an election in which the students could decide which faculty members would get a pie in the face on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

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    “They could write a name on the can, so each can was a vote,” said Mike Thompson, a social studies teacher who also coaches football and baseball. Thompson was one of six faculty members who received a pie facial.
    The food drive was the brain child of the November PATH team. PATH stands for Pride, Achievement, Teamwork, Heart, according to Thompson. He  said  a  faculty team is formed each month to come up with a way to get the teens involved in helping the community.
    Some projects have also had an international flavor. Thompson said one of the teachers, Jessible Availa got teens involved in a pen pals project with students at a school in the Philippines where she taught before coming here. It was introduced to the LHS students the week before the islands were struck by the typhoon. This prompted the local students to write their Filipino pen pals to ask if they were OK. This particular school was not close to the typhoon’s ground zero, so students were fine and the school was not damaged.

Getting the pies
    Six faculty members, including Dr. Kathy Dills and David Melton, both assistant principals, were winners of the honor. Some dressed up in special outfits and Melton put on a bit of drama which included waving what he said was a note from his mother asking him to be excused from the event.
    The students’ motivation went beyond lunchtime fun.  Thompson provided quotes from some students who participated in the food drive.
    “I feel it’s necessary to help people out, because some are less fortunate than myself,” said Marckel Bonds.
    “Whether through my church or my school, I want to do whatever I can to give people a better life,” said Lindsey Stanley.
    “I want to help, because I don’t like to see people hungry and in need in my own community,”  said Katherine Grimstead.
    The food was delivered to Bedford Christian Ministries, so it will all stay in the Bedford area.

The delivery
    Mike and Danielle Thompson along with Kathy Dills,  pulled up to the Bedford Christian Ministries’ Food Pantry on Washington Street bearing the best gift of all:  the food.
    The trio, ably assisted by some of their children, delivered a cornucopia of canned consumables, all of it donated by the Liberty High students.
    The school collected and delivered over 1,500 cans of food to the Bedford Christian Ministries’ Food Pantry.
    “We set a goal of 500 cans,” said Liberty High School Teacher Mike Thompson, who helped coordinate the effort.  “Then we set it at 1,000.  Then we got some more today.”
    Mike Thompson is also the head coach of the Liberty varsity baseball team.
    Danielle Thompson, Mike’s wife, stated:  “We wanted to make sure we got it here before Thanksgiving, even with the bad weather.”
    “This is phenomenal.  It’s a lot of food that will go a long way,” stated Houston Crum, board member of Bedford Christian Ministries and its finance committee chair. “The timing on this is excellent [in order] to get ready for the holidays.  Athletes from Liberty University are coming in to sort.  We’ll be ready to go.”
    Crum estimated BCM would provide food to 350 households over the next five weeks, feeding about 1,200 people.