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Grace Episcopal edges St. Johns Country Day in food drive challenge

Real winners were Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs, hungry residents

Posted 12/31/69

ORANGE PARK – Collecting canned goods and donating them to the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs is a beloved tradition of Grace Episcopal Day School during the Thanksgiving holiday season.

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Grace Episcopal edges St. Johns Country Day in food drive challenge

Real winners were Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs, hungry residents


Posted

ORANGE PARK – Collecting canned goods and donating them to the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs is a beloved tradition of Grace Episcopal Day School during the Thanksgiving holiday season.

The 35-year-old tradition added a fun, new twist this year with a friendly competition against St. Johns Country Day School to see who could donate the most food.

The event culminated on Friday, Nov. 17, with a church ceremony celebrating the donation of food. Grace won the challenge after collecting 1,872 pounds, while St. Johns finished with 1,690. While it was an 182-pound difference, everyone was a winner because the food would help eliminate hunger.

Grace gave out 517 more pounds than they did a year ago. Coupled with the reinforcements from St. Johns, the two schools combined for a whopping total of 3,562 pounds of food donations. The contributions of Grace, St. Johns and other local organizations will help feed the hungry.

“The donations were amazing, and Grace Episcopal really exceeded our expectations. Their donations (and the help of St. Johns and others) really provide the food we need to be able to serve Clay County,” said Jim Brewer, a volunteer with the Food Pantry.

The organization has fed 3,900 children, 2,000 families and 400 homeless this year. “This gives us the ability to feed (even more) people,” he said.

During the ceremony, the food was displayed at the altar. Children sang classic Thanksgiving tunes and played instruments, and students, parents and guests heard from Head of School Angela Bast and Rev. Canon Aaron Smith.

“It’s awesome to have that dedication, especially during this time of year. There’s nothing harder than not having food on the shelves for people when they come to (the Food Pantry). This (ensures) that doesn’t happen,” Brewer said. “We’re just excited to support and (give) service. We’re excited to help the community in any way possible,” Bast said.

“St. Johns Country Day School has a longstanding tradition of community service and has been participating in (the season food drive) since 1989,” said Lower School Student Council Advisor Jennifer Keller. “We are honored to be able to help the Food Pantry and our community in this way, and the competition with Grace Episcopal is a fun new twist.”