While students from Penn's Grove and Elk Ridge are at home Thanksgiving night enjoying a delicious dinner with their family and friends, they will take extra comfort in knowing that they made the same evening possible for many local needy families.The student council of both Penn's Grove and Elk Ridge schools sponsored their annual Thanksgiving Canned Food Drive during the month of November-collecting a combined total of well over 3,000 canned food items.

Together, students and staff at the schools donated canned goods for the entire month of November, and were proud to help box up the overwhelming number of donations which will be shared with those less fortunate this holiday.

Members of the Oxford Presbyterian Church offered their services in picking up the boxes of canned goods and delivering them to the Oxford Neighborhood Services Center (NSC), where they were added to the Food Bank. The Food Bank will welcome dozens of local families throughout the holiday season and will supply them with the ingredients for a very special meal. Penn's Grove Student Council members, including eighth graders Tony Perez, Briar Foran, Shelby Wright, Shannon Wright and Elanna Manco, and seventh graders Sam Ford, Brianna Krusen, Lauren Keeler, Tanner Smith, William Quigley, Jorge Zurita and Alex Fernandez, were proud to offer 1,663 canned food items to the NSC Food Bank.

At the food drive pick up at Elk Ridge, student council members were chosen to represent the three homerooms that collected the most canned items during the Thanksgiving food drive, including Ashley Sage and Becca Portugal of Mrs. Sauer's sixth grade class; Cora Baughman and Shain Quigley of Mrs. Logue's fifth grade class; and Jason D'Antonio and Mary White of Mrs. Guarino's sixth grade class. Together, the school raised 1,919 canned good items.

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of student council members, students and staff at Penn's Grove and Elk Ridge schools, Oxford Presbyterian Church volunteers and the NSC, families will be gathering around a Thanksgiving dinner this evening-even though they may not have been able to afford it themselves. They will be whispering a 'thanks' to all those who made it possible as they learn what this holiday is really all about.

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