Lake City students have the 'drive' to help community

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Lake City High School seniors, Jenny Brooks, right, and Megan Kobrick, check in food items donated Wednesday to the schoolÕs annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.

COEUR d'ALENE - A cheerleader waited Wednesday with spaghetti boxes jutting out of her purse.

Boys in gym clothes stood nearby in the Lake City High School commons, their arms laden with bags filled with boxes and boxes of Wheaties.

As the line moved forward, a young girl lugged a large, frozen turkey along.

There were students with crumpled dollars, hands full of change and arms full of cans.

It was the final day of a Thanksgiving ritual at Lake City, a 10-day, annual school-wide food drive.

"It's been really great this year," said Megan Kobrick, 18.

A longtime Lake City tradition, the drive is sponsored by the school's Youth Volunteers in Action group.

By early Wednesday, with donations still coming in, more than $6,000 in cash and 4,000 pounds of food had been collected. They also received 70 turkeys and 90 cell phones for donation.

Each morning before 8 a.m., YVA students man a table with a scale on it. Students bring their donations and line up, waiting for their items to be counted. Teachers and school staff donate also.

"We had a teacher write a check for $1,000, and another one for $500," said Don Callister, LCHS instructor and director of the YVA program.

It's the second year Kobrick has helped with the drive, but this year, she said her involvement has gone much deeper.

"I got to bring some of the turkeys down to the food bank," she said. "We saw the families waiting."

Carolyn Shewfelt, manager of the Community Action Partnership Food Bank, in Coeur d'Alene called the Lake City students' response to the community's needs "unreal."

"They have their own passion about this, and they are stirring each other up," Shewfelt said.

And the kids haven't just donated food, she said. The Lake City students held a toilet paper drive, and they've collected sleeping bags and tents.

"They have backed up with truckloads of stuff," Shewfelt said.

Lake City senior Jenny Brooks, 18, said visiting the food bank and meeting Shewfelt was sobering, but energizing.

"She showed us the empty freezers," Brooks said. "It was a humbling experience."

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