‘Stuff the Bus’ Revitalizes Covington Food Bank

The bus was literally "stuffed" after it made its way to all 6 area schools.

The bus was literally “stuffed” after it made its way to all six area schools.

As one of St. Paul’s most critical five core principles, “Concern for the Poor and Social Justice” is always on display on campus. From coat drives to Adopt-A-Family, the school community spares no effort for the poor and less fortunate. This quarter’s major service drive is no different. This year, St. Paul’s and six other area schools delivered 15, 790 lbs. of food to the Covington Food Bank in a combined “Stuff the Bus” effort, besting last year’s contribution of 12,940 lbs. by 30 percent.

The bus begins to fill with donations from the St. Paul's community.

The bus begins to fill with donations from the St. Paul’s community, leaving St. Paul’s and on its way to other area schools.

“It’s a fantastic service project,” Assistant Principal Joe Dickens said. “This time of year, the Covington Food Bank is completely depleted, and when schools are out of session, their shelves go bare. So, to be part of something that will help them over the summer is a rewarding experience that I’m very glad to be involved with it. I hope to do it for years to come.”

The usual problem of low donations was also paired with the recent flooding to create disastrously low food stores at the Food Bank. The Food Bank has done their best with the limited amount of food in the face of floods and low donations.

“Absolutely, this helped us,” Evette Grusel of the Covington Food Bank said. “This time of the year, between the first and second quarter, donations are down, because most people are thinking about donating at the end of the year for the holidays. Plus, with the recent flooding, we’ve been very proactive with aid for that, so that diminished our stock as well.”

Items collected by students and faculty ranged from hearty soups and canned beans to cereals and powdered milk. Students were advised to buy items as if they were for their own homes and families. For example, they were encouraged to buy their favorite brand of cereal such as Lucky Charms rather than a store brand shredded bran or wheat.

Schools that participated in the drive included Our Lady of the Lake, St. Peter’s, St. Scholastic Academy, Archbishop Hannan, and Mary Queen of Peace.

Anyone interested in helping the Food Bank with food or cash donations, or those interested volunteering, visit www.covingtonfoodbank.org or call (985)-893-3003.

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St. Paul’s students prepare to load the bus with various food items collected over just a week period.

(photos by Mimi Montero)

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