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Goffstown High School classes compete in annual canned food

Goffstown High School students will engage in a little healthy competition to benefit the local food pantry this holiday season.

Students have set a goal of 20,000 points, or the equivalent of about 10,000 food items, during the first three weeks of December, said GHS senior class president Kim MacPhail, and each class will compete to see which earns the most.

“We have an item of the day system to ensure the quality of items,” she said.

Each day carries a theme – say, soup and tuna, pasta and sauce, vegetables and fruits. Items brought in on their designated day will earn double points, as will each dollar donated.

Each non-perishable food item brought in is worth one point, and items will be counted and presented to the Goffstown Network at an assembly on December 21.

Students enjoy getting into the giving of the holiday season, MacPhail said, and the point system acts as an incentive for students to give more.

“I think it’s helpful,” she said. “Our classes are pretty competitive against each other.”

MacPhail said students like knowing that their donations will be used locally, possibly even by their peers.

“It’s food that’s going right to the Goffstown community,” she said. “It could even be going to one of our classmates.”

Donations saw a peak several years ago, when students brought in upwards of 40,000 items, but in a still-sluggish economy, donations have fallen slightly, and it was only within the last year that they’ve begun to rise.

After the assembly, students will deliver the food items to St. Lawrence Church, where holiday food baskets will be made by members of the community.

Dave Greiner, president of the Goffstown Network, said the drive is important to local families who may have kids home on holiday break and said he is grateful for the efforts of the students.

“It’s huge,” he said. “To be able to hand out that much food at the holidays is wonderful.”

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