Students from T.O. Rusheon Middle School in Bossier presented Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington Tuesday morning with thousands of canned goods and non-perishable food items to support Operation Blessing, the food bank program administered by the Bossier Sheriff’s Office.
For the past two weeks, students from R.V. Kerr Elementary School, T.O. Rusheon and Bossier High School engaged in some friendly “Canning the Competition” to see who could collect the most canned goods. Rusheon Middle was announced as the winning school this morning, and collectively, the three schools presented 4,036 canned goods and hundreds more of non-perishable food items to Operation Blessing.
Joining Rusheon principal Judy Madden and assistant principal John Cooper were Janet Doughty, principal of Kerr, and Michele Tugwell, assistant principal of Bossier High, who all led their respective schools in the competition. Cooper also presented Sheriff Whittington with a check for $127 for Operation Blessing, money that was raised by selling paper chain links for 25 cents. Additionally, two winning classrooms at Rusheon will be taken to lunch and allowed to wear jeans to school for the month of December.
“We are so blessed to have these students, teachers and school leadership epitomize what it means to give back to their community,” said Sheriff Whittington. “Every one of these food items will be used to help feed the elderly and needy residents of Bossier Parish. Those who gave can hold their heads high in knowing they are making a tremendous difference in the lives of others.”
More than 120 barrels are being delivered to Bossier Parish schools this week for the kickoff of the annual holiday food drive. The barrels will also be delivered to each of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office substations on Viking Drive, Highway 3 and Arthur Ray Teague Parkway. The filled barrels will then be picked up in a few weeks, and the food will become part of a special Christmas food box. Deputies, Posse members and students in Bossier Parish schools will deliver the boxes on Dec. 17 in order to provide a hearty meal for more than 500 elderly and needy families.
“We are looking forward to having some of our students who collected these canned goods to actually help our deputies deliver the Christmas food boxes just before Christmas,” said Whittington. “They’ll get to see the results of their good efforts.”
Operation Blessing began in 1998 and is a year-round food bank that feeds about 540 families each month with no cost to the taxpayer.