A food drive to benefit Neighbors Helping Neighbors food pantry in Boonville was held at the Boonville R-1 High School December 3-14. The drive, which included a competition between the four grade levels, was sponsored by the Boonville FFA and student council. Neighbors Helping Neighbors President Chuck Harris said this is a testament to the quality of students we have in our schools. "I was very happy and thrilled about this. This will last many distributions," Harris said. Harris also said this may have been the largest food drive of the year. While the food drive was a competition, the students also enjoyed the opportunity to give to those in need. "Many teachers offered extra credit opportunities or other incentives to encourage the students to participate. Students brought their items to the classroom of Mrs. James, Ms. Allsop, Ms. Richter, Ms. Hahn and the FFA students brought their items directly to Ms. Thies and Mr. Henke at the BTEC," high school teacher Emily Allsop said. She said the juniors who won the drive with 1,685 items will be rewarded by watching the movie "Elf" and eating popcorn in the commons the last two hours of school on December 21. "The juniors brought in 1,685 food items in two weeks. I have roughly 100 students and around 60 of them participated in the drive with many of them spending a decent portion of their own money and paychecks to buy food items. Yes, they were motivated by the idea of winning. Yes, they were motivated by the promise of homemade cookies. But more than that, I knew they understood the real importance when one girl ran into the room, saw the huge pile of food, and shouted "look how many people we can feed!!" They got the big picture. I am beyond proud of these kids," said junior high school teacher Kacie Richter. The food was counted by student council members and Deanna Thies. All contributions were weighed by FFA advisor Doug Henke and the FFA students on December 17 and delivered to the food pantry. The freshmen class followed the junior class with 901 items, sophomores with 824 items and the seniors with 722 items. The grand total was 4,132 items, which weighed 3,578 pounds.