Driving for cereal

SAN BENITO — After the success of their shoe drive, the students of Veterans Memorial Academy are back at it again, but this time with cereal.

Students are asking the community and district to donate breakfast food from now until the end of the semester on Dec. 21.

Food items collected will then be donated to the San Benito Food Pantry.

Olga Reyes, a reading teacher at VMA, said the pantry is eager to receive the donations.

Reyes said she spoke with a representative of the food pantry who had informed her the winter months are the hardest when it comes to receiving food donations.

“I said to my class if we’re going to do this we’re going to be really helpful,” Reyes said.

That was when her class came up with the idea of a cereal drive and collecting breakfast food items for the pantry.

“It is the most important meal of the day,” Reyes said.

According to Forest Walker, president of the San Benito Food Pantry, the pantry helps 3,500 to 4,000 residents each month.

Walker said the pantry is not in partnership with a church, like most pantries but stands alone and relies solely on food and monetary donations.

“I’m so proud of the San Benito community,” Walker said. “They have really come through.”

Walker said volunteers and donations from the community are what keep the pantry feeding members of the community.

But during the winter months when students are on break for the holiday season, donations can be few and far between.

“We make it through by the grace of God,” Walker said.

Reyes’s class currently has a goal of filling up 12 boxes or collecting 120 items for the drive, but just like the shoe drive, they are hoping to exceed that goal.

Students have been showing up to school early in the morning and staying late to pass out flyers informing parents and teachers of their latest endeavor.

Reyes said the drive was on standby due to standardized testing, but now the students are ready to move full force and host another successful drive.

The drive will run until Dec. 21 giving the students enough time to collect as many items as possible before they leave for winter break.