Banfield Elementary School food drive breaks a record

When walking through the doors of Banfield Elementary School in Austin during the past week, one would assume it also served as a food pantry.

The food, however, is not from an overstocked food pantry. It is a sign of the generosity of the students and their families.

Banfield Elementary School ended its annual Holiday Food Drive on Monday afternoon. This year’s drive brought in record numbers.

Tables filled with donated food stand at the main entrance of Banfield Elementary School.

Student council vice president and fourth-grader Zane Thoma was on hand to tell just how much food was collected.

“Right now we have 3,982 (food items) and more coming,” he said on Monday morning.

Members of the student council led Banfield’s annual Holiday Food Drive.

“About eight years ago we started the holiday food drive,” said Principal Jeff Roland. “We involve our student council members as a way to have a great service-learning project in the building, but also as a way to show that kids can help the community as well, and to give back as far as at the holiday season. The food drive has been growing ever since.”

Roland said that some food collected during the drive goes toward Banfield’s Backpack Program, but most of it goes to the Salvation Army.

Tables filled with donated food stand at the main entrance of Banfield Elementary School.

Along with Thoma, student council President Brookyln Behne and Secretary/Treasurer Amanda Rodriguez, both in fourth grade, helped lead the food drive.

“Everybody just brings food in from their class and brings it down to the tables (near the front entrance) and we make sure it’s all nice and organized out there,” Behne said.

“The food drive is here to help the need in our community,” Rodriguez said. “We’re very happy to help.”

Of course, the students couldn’t help but take a little pride in knowing this was a record-breaking year.

“This will definitely go down in Banfield’s history and it’s pretty much about the students learning about the Christmas spirit and about giving and not receiving,” Behne said. “It feels pretty amazing to see how much food and how much they care about other people and not just about themselves.”

Tables filled with donated food stand at the main entrance of Banfield Elementary School.