As part of Kindness Month at Polk County Middle School, students and staff held a food drive competition to collect items for Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry and Steps to Hope.

In just over a week, students and staff collected more than 1,200 items as part of the drive. Shannon Hopper’s homeroom collected the most goods with 264 items, earning a pizza party, followed by Paula Brown’s homeroom with 169 items and Stephanie Luedi’s homeroom with 113 items.

Thermal Belt Outreach serves Polk County families and individuals that need assistance with day-to-day necessities such as food, heat and housing. Since 1991, Outreach has served with caring hearts and helping hands to meet the needs of countless people. Thermal Belt helps with food programs and has a pantry that individuals can shop in to help their families, and the food collected through the PCMS drive will help stock that pantru.

The mission of Steps to HOPE is to create a community free from the violence of domestic and sexual abuse through education, advocacy and victim assistance. Steps to HOPE has a variety of programs that are free to the community. These include in-house counseling, free legal services, women’s support group, kid’s karate and temporary emergency safe shelter.