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West Mercer Elementary Donates Record Amount to YFS Food Pantry

The city's Youth and Family Services Food Pantry is reporting their largest-ever single donation of over 5,000 foodstuff items to serve the community's neediest families.

students and families donated a record amount of food to the (MIYFS) Food Pantry during a recent school food drive, according to a city press release.

"This drive is the largest we've seen from a single elementary school," said MIYFS Manager Derek Franklin. "The generosity of West Mercer students and families is incredible."

MIYFS originally scheduled a single city van for pick-up — but quickly changed that to three vans upon hearing that bags of food lined two main hallways at the school. After filling three vans to capacity, still another pick-up was needed later in the week to collect the estimated 5,000 plus items of food. This donation is believed to be the largest single donation from an Island elementary school in the history of the .

"This drive was designed to go deep into the classrooms, as teachers lead discussions on the reasons why people may find themselves in need of help. Students then set classroom goals to strive towards together," says West Mercer Student Council Volunteer Advisor, Karen Zimmer. 

The Student Council that sponsored the food drive stuck to the directive from School Principal Rich Mellish and offered none of the prizes typically used as incentives for this type of service project. Instead, students simply embraced a sense of pride and the spirit of giving. "Now that's a prize that can last a lifetime!" says Zimmer.

The Food Pantry serves only Mercer Island residents in need of food assistance and has seen its use more than double in the past three years. Additional information about the MIYFS Food Pantry is available by clicking this link to the City's webpage or by contacting MIYFS Family Assistance Coordinator Cheryl Manriquez at cheryl.manriquez@mercergov.org or by calling 206-275-7869.

— This article from information published in a city press release

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