Lake Tract Elementary School gives back to local food pantry

More than 5,000 items collected for the annual Deptford drive

Lake Tract Elementary School’s annual food drive has collected 5,120 items this year to help replenish the pantry at Emmanuel Cancer Foundation in Woodbury Heights.

The drive ended on Nov. 19. Items ranged from canned foods, pasta, cereal, peanut butter and condiments, to Thanksgiving side dishes. Lake Tract students cheered when Principal Cheryl Battee announced the official total of donations.

“As pillars of the community, it’s so important for schools to give back. Events like this help provide for those in immediate need, but they also teach students about civic responsibility,” said the coordinator of communications for Deptford Township schools, Salvatore Randazzo.

“They learn how to use their talents, resources and abilities to give back in areas that matter, helping make the world a better place,” he added.

The Deptford school district has upcoming events to help more members of the community. One is Deptford High School’s annual holiday dinner on Dec. 19, when a free hot meal is provided to any Deptford resident while supplies last.

The Lake Tract Elementary food drive is a seasonal endeavor, but because of the positive impact it has on the school’s students, organizers are looking to partner with more charities in the future.

“It’s certainly important around the holiday season, but we should remember that there are people in need all year long,” Randazzo said.

The Emmanuel Cancer Foundation is a charity that helps families with a child battling pediatric cancer. More information can be found at emmanuelcancer.org.