By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Mae Hensley students collect 5,112 cans of food for needy
The final count was staggering.

Mae Hensley Junior High students, office staff, custodians and cafeteria workers collected 5,112 canned goods and non-perishable items over a nine-day span.

Donated to Modesto's Interfaith Ministries on Thursday, the food will be distributed to those in need during the holiday season.

The school-wide competition that pitted second-period classes against employees ran Dec. 10-18.

"I didn't care who won," said Mike Corsaut, U.S. History and Leadership teacher. "The winners are the people who are going to get the food."

Mae Hensley's office staff, custodians and cafeteria workers collected 2,038 canned goods and non-perishables (500 pounds of rice).

Corsaut's students brought in 762 cans on their way to a second-place finish.

Mrs. Rossiter's, Mrs. Hirsch's and Mr. Stivers' students collected 588, 232 and 182 cans, respectively.

The top two collectors enjoyed a pizza party during lunchtime on Thursday.

"We made it a competition," Corsaut said. "It motivated kids to bring stuff."

Mae Hensley collected just 430 cans last year.

"I don't think the kids have a clue how many cans they collected this year," Corsaut said. "They've really gotten into it. It's been an amazing thing to see. It's been really fun."

Mae Hensley students walked door-to-door asking for donations.

They also placed canned-food drive boxes at Ceres fire stations.

"People are willing to give this time of the year," Corsaut said. "It's about helping people who are less fortunate. It's about being a good human being. The kids have been so generous."

Mae Hensley also accepted canned goods as payment for entrance into the Winter Dance.

Approximately 900 cans were collected.

Ten cans covered the $5 admission fee per person.

Interfaith Ministries used two trucks, including a flatbed, Thursday morning to transport 35 boxes of canned goods and non-perishables to their facility.

"They were really surprised by how much there was," Corsaut said. "They were absolutely amazed. They were thankful."