During normal times, classes near the end of the calendar year are punctuated with the districtwide canned food drive, in which Canby students challenge each other to collect the most nonperishable food items for local families in need.
Of course, little was normal about the year 2020 — especially in the classroom — but Canby High School senior Eryn Thorsrud isn’t one to give up easily.
“The district canned food drive has been a Canby tradition for many years,” she told The Canby Current. “I remember my elementary school teachers encouraged us to be competitive and collect more cans than the other classes. Even though we are distance learning, I wanted to keep that tradition alive.”
“This year has not been kind to a lot of people, and it’s important for those who are capable to help the less fortunate.”
Throughout the months of October and November, Thorsrud contacted all of the schools in the Canby School District to see what plans they had for canned food drives, and to encourage them to partner with CHS.
For its part, the high school organized two days where students could come to campus and drop off canned food. Staff gathered up all the donations that were received — along with those from four other schools in town — and delivered them to The Canby Center.
“The Canby Center was overjoyed to receive such a donation at a time that they could really use it,” said CHS Activites Director and Leadership Advisor J.D. Bellum. “It just goes to show that the Canby community shows up and delivers whenever they are asked to do so.”
All told, the donations from CHS, Baker Prairie Middle School, and Knight, Eccles and Lee Elementary amounted to more than 1,900 pounds of food.
“I feel proud knowing I have been able to help so many people,” said Thorsrud. “It was very touching to see all the schools come together. I’m very thankful for all the students, staff, and families that donated to this cause.”
She said she hopes to do more outreach work in the new year.
The high school’s leadership team typically hosts a number of projects to help the community throughout the winter term, and — like with the canned food drive —Thorsrud hopes to find ways to continue these traditions amid the distance learning environment and continuing pandemic.
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