BAKER — Volunteers at three churches can divide 1,700 canned food items they wouldn't have gotten without Baker School students' efforts.
Kindergartners through 12th-graders have collected that many non-perishable items for needy residents. The donations will stay in the community, benefiting the Shady Grove Assembly of God Church soup kitchen and Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Holt's food pantries.
Click here, to view 'Canstruction' projects>>
Students learned more than philanthropy through the project, which soon offered an art lesson. Middle and high school students stacked and grouped the cans to create what they called "canstruction" projects.
They formed the shapes of an oversized soda and a minion from the "Despicable Me" films, among others. Stacy Burlison's high school physics class created a Dr. Seuss-themed "Cat in the Hat" piece.
The school gave cupcakes and doughnuts to Ashley Hall's third-grade class and ROTC students, respectively, who collected the most cans in their respective categories.
A group of middle-school Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics students won a pizza party after voting best overall by the school.
Students said they couldn't have made those prize-winning shapes without donations, and having so many canned goods to build from was inspirational because they knew where the items would go next.
"We were not expecting to have that many cans ... we had so many left over (after creating the art pieces)," Kimberly Kimmons, 17, said. "It was a really awesome feeling."
Chloe Fox, 17, agreed.
"It's nice to help out other people," she said.
"I am really proud of all of the students," Burlison said. "The community really needs this."
Senior Alex Farris said she enjoyed working on the project as well, but providing for the less fortunate is also rewarding.
"Knowing we will be helping out families in our community is a great gift,” she said.