East Elementary ‘Patriot Day’ food drive collects 9,521 pounds of food for Cullman Caring for Kids

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East Elementary administrators and students stand alongside the Cullman Caring for Kids food truck after the conclusion of the school’s Patriot Day food drive. (Cullman City Schools)

CULLMAN, Ala. – East Elementary School’s annual Patriot Day food drive brought in 9,521 pounds of food donations over the past month for the local Cullman Caring for Kids food bank. Patriot Day is a day of remembrance held annually on Sept. 11 to honor those who lost their lives during the 2001 terror attacks.

East Elementary School Principal David Wiggins said the drive is a great way to get students involved in community service, while helping a critical local charity that serves families across the area.

“Our annual food drive is in honor of Patriot Day. It means so much that our students and our families show their love for community and country by donating to the food bank,” Wiggins said. “I am so proud of what our little elementary school was able to do for those of need in our community.”

Cullman Caring for Kids Director Javon Daniel said the food bank, which provides meals to hundreds of local families on a monthly basis, depends on the support of groups like local schools to remain stocked.

“East Elementary always comes through, and they’ve been a big supporter for as long as I can remember,” Daniel said. “Their administrators, students, teachers and faculty do a great job of showing students what it means to give back. We just appreciate them so much.” 

Daniel went on to say 2020 has been an unusual year for the food bank, which has had to adjust its protocols — such as transitioning to curb-side pick-up — while responding to the community’s needs during a global pandemic being felt by local families.

“Our elderly population doesn’t seem to be coming as heavily as in the past, possibly afraid of getting out right now, understandably,” Daniel explained. “We’ve had a lot of families with children, with needs, with the workforce affected. The beginning of the month is always a busy time for us, and there are always people who need help.”