Annual ‘Stuff the Bus’ Food Drive Proves Smashing Success

St. Paul’s students pose after unloading 10,088 lbs. of non-perishable food items at the North Shore Food Bank in Covington. (Photo: Mimi Monterio)

(COVINGTON, La.) — During this year’s annual Stuff the Bus Food Drive, St. Paul’s School, along with Our Lady of the Lake Roman Catholic School, Mary Queen of Peace Catholic School, St. Peter’s School, Archbishop Hannan High School and St. Scholastica Academy, accumulated 10,088 lbs. of non-perishable food items. These donations, collected on Tuesday, April 25, were delivered to the North Shore Food Bank by St. Paul’s School Vice Principal Joe Dickens.

“I can’t even begin to explain how much the food bank appreciates St. Paul’s efforts,” Dickens said. “During this time of the year, people have a tendency to forget about donating to the food bank because it’s not a major holiday. So, the Stuff the Bus food drive provides them with the necessary items needed to make it through the summer.”

The Stuff the Bus Food Drive took place on Tuesday, April 25 and involved six catholic schools throughout the Mandeville/Covington area. (Image courtesy Mimi Monterio)

At 6:30 a.m. on that Tuesday morning, Dickens arrived at Our Lady of the Lake, where he began loading his “cheese wagon” with canned goods and other various non-perishable food items. From there, Dickens traveled to Mary Queen of Peace, Archbishop Hannan, St. Scholastica, and St. Peter’s, where he crammed additional donations into the weighed-down bus. The route culminated at 1:00 p.m. on St. Paul’s campus, where more donations were stuffed into the bus by students. Finally, Dickens carefully navigated the bus to the North Shore Food Bank, where St. Paul’s students assisted him in unloading over five tons of food donations.

“As always, St. Paul’s crushed it,” Dickens said. “Bro. Ray (Bulliard) urged me to drive carefully and slowly because he was worried about exceeding the weight limit on the bus and putting an unnecessary strain on the engine.”

This year marked the third edition of the Stuff the Bus Food Drive, which was originally founded in 2014.

“Stuff the Bus was actually the brainchild of Our Lady of the Lake’s Principal, Frank Smith,” Dickens said. “He got the ball rolling, but all teachers, administrators, students and parents who participated deserve thanks.”

For those interested in assisting the North Shore Food Bank, visit www.northshorefoodbank.org, email info@northshorefoodbank.org or call (985) 893-3003.

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