Every Effingham County school contributed to this year’s school food drive for the Food Outreach Co-op of Effingham (FORCE), but South Effingham High School went above and beyond.
The SEHS drive, led by the school’s Navy Junior ROTC program, brought in more than 2,000 pounds of food along with more than $600 in cash donations for the county’s food pantries.
“It was over 5,000 pounds of food as a result of that,” said FORCE program coordinator Archie Jenkins. “They kind of blew everyone else out of the water with their donation.”
To show its appreciation, FORCE presented a plaque to the South Effingham NJROTC. The cadets coordinated the SEHS food drive, which offered a dress-down day to students who made a donation.
Effingham County schools combined to collect more than 21,000 pounds of food during the drive, according to Jenkins. All donations stay in Effingham County, for its six food pantries.
“Every year, community service is a big part of our program,” said Lt. Col Terry Stautberg, instructor of the NJROTC program at SEHS. “Our goal this year is 3,100 hours of community and school service.”
That translates to roughly 20 hours for each of South Effingham High’s 156 NJROTC cadets. The cadets also volunteer their time for the America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia food bank.