Every first Friday in December since 2008, students in the Camas and Washougal school districts have worked feverishly to see which among them could amass the most food for local charities during the annual Stuff the Bus food drive.
With the win came a trophy and a year’s worth of bragging rights for their school.
But this year, things were noticeably different in two regards.
For the first time ever, Stuff the Bus was postponed due to inclement weather. Also, students from the high schools worked as a team instead of a competition. The only winners were the local charitable organizations, that received large quantities of food.
“Stuff the Bus was delayed due to freezing weather, but that did not dampen the efforts of Washougal and Camas schools,” said Dawn Tarzian, Washougal School District superintendent. “Students and staff in both districts collected a combined total of 57,640 pounds of food and household items to support local families in need.”
The event was created by the Camas-Washougal Business Alliance in an effort to help support local charitable organizations.
“It was an awesome event as usual,” said Stephen Frye, business alliance president. “The food shelves are piled high at local food banks and holiday meal providers.”
Beneficiaries include the East County Family Resource Center, The Inter-Faith Treasure House, The C.A.R.O.L. Program and The American Legion in Camas/Washougal.
“We were one big team this year, Camas and Washougal together,” Frye said. “The CWBA directs the buses where to go in an effort to spread the food out among all of the recipients.”
He added that one of the big benefits from combining the two communities instead of making it a competition was that there was much more attention put on the quality and nutrition of the food.
“This is a huge deal for our food banks,” he said.