By the end of the collection period, Pecatonica High School students had collected over 5,300 items for the Pecatonica Food Pantry.

The annual Pecatonica High School Food Drive has become a tradition that leads to a little bit of competition among the classes, a library teeming with canned and boxed food items, and a building full of young adults who get to witness how a small act of kindness, when performed by many, can actually turn into something really amazing.

When Monica Bardell, paraprofessional at Pecatonica High School, decided to hold PHS’s first food drive more than 12 years ago, she had been looking for a way to help out the local food pantry and show others that we have amazing students, staff, and residents here in Pecatonica.

Since then, the food drive continues to bring in around 1,500-2,000 items for the pantry, but this year the giving spirit in our building and community has broken all previous drive records.

This year’s drive ran from Dec. 3-17 and was chaired by senior McKenna Handy and advised by Mrs. Bardell. Within the first couple of days, students had already brought in hundreds of items.

Less than a week into the drive, Mrs. Bardell received big news from her son and Pecatonica alumnus, Adam Bardell ‘14. Adam, who works at Hormel Foods in Beloit as the HR Coordinator/Manager of Safety, Security, and Medical, had arranged for a donation from the company, but to everyone’s amazement that donation included 30 boxes filled with 35 or more items each, for a total donation of more than 1,200 items.

The donations didn’t stop coming in after that, though, and by the end of the event, we collected over 5,300 items for the Pecatonica Food Pantry! We cannot be prouder to be a part of a school and community that chooses to continue to be the good in the world despite what has been a very difficult year for so many. 

Thank you so much to all our students, parents, staff, and community members for supporting this drive; thank you to Mrs. Bardell and McKenna Handy for heading up our most successful drive ever; thank you to Adam Bardell and Hormel for the overwhelming donation; thank you to the Key Club for helping to sort and deliver; and thank you to the Pecatonica Food Pantry for helping feed our local families. 

We would like to wish all of our Pecatonica friends and family a wonderful holiday.

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