In its annual tradition of helping others at holiday time, the Clifton Park Elementary School student council stacked boxes of canned goods for delivery in this year’s community Food for Families drive.

The school raised about 14 boxes worth of nonperishable food items, which were sent Friday to the Killeen Special Events Center as part of the regional drive billed as the biggest one-day food collection in Texas.

“I think we did pretty good,” said Clifton Park fifth-grader Isabella Fujikawa on Wednesday. “We do this to help people in the community. It makes me feel good knowing we’re helping others.”

Many schools across Killeen Independent School District are culminating food drives. The district’s transportation department picks up items as part of its “Fill-A-Bus” effort, contributing to the overall collection.

The drive is part of a broad Central Texas effort to raise 2 million pounds of food for pantries throughout the region.

“It’s important to help people who don’t have access to food,” said Clifton Park fourth-grader Kamila Merchan-Liu.

Fourth-grader Trip Potvin said it was important to support food pantries to help soldiers that might be too busy to make it to the grocery store.

Students pointed out they were grateful for what they have and are happy to be able to help others.

“To me, Thanksgiving is about a family reunion,” Potvin said. “In my family, we have a party and thank people for being in our lives and for helping us,” Merchan-Liu said.

National certification

Clifton Park counselor Linda Gardner pointed out that the school’s student council won national certification for its high level of service.

She said her students are driven to help the school and the greater community.

“It’s important to have student leaders because when it’s just adults, they don’t see it from a kid’s point of view,” said Fujikawa.

“In student council, we do a lot to help the community,” Potvin said, pointing out a campus cleanup project the group finished recently. “It makes the world a better place.”

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