Lisa Wilson, president of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, congratulates the students of Jefferson School’s Kids CREW program for raising more than $300 for the community’s “Milk Drive” campaign to provide milk for needy families in Independence Monday afternoon at the school.  Steve McBride | Staff Photo
Lisa Wilson, president of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, congratulates the students of Jefferson School’s Kids CREW program for raising more than $300 for the community’s “Milk Drive” campaign to provide milk for needy families in Independence Monday afternoon at the school. Steve McBride | Staff Photo

Through their hard work of engaging in a ‘penny war’ with their teachers and staff, Jefferson School students in Kids Community Resources Encouraging Winners program, celebrated their success in the Great American Milk Drive campaign to honor September as Hunger Action Month.

On Monday at the school, Lisa Wilson, president of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, along with Julie Voelker, president of Community National Bank and Gary Morrison, of CNB, congratulated the students on raising $352.28 to go toward helping families in need put milk on their table through vouchers. “We are so proud of each of these students, from kindergarten to fifth grade, who are in the Jefferson School’s Kids CREW. They participated in a “Penny War,” which resulted in the collection for $352.28. That equates to 110 gallons of milk for needy families in Independence,” Wilson said.

The idea was formulated by Mandy Smith, Kids CREW program director, who came up with it in order to support the milk drive and “it has been huge success.”

“The winning class will receive an ice cream party for winning the ‘Penny War’.” Wilson said.

Voelker and Morrison passed out special “One Cent can make a Difference” cards to each of the students. “These cards are for the students to remember what they have done to help families in our community that are in need,” Voelker said.

The month of September was Hunger Action Month, and to bring awareness to this, the Kansas Food Bank in connection with the Midwest Dairy Council, Feeding American and the Great American Milk Drive participated in Pints to Gallons, an effort to get milk on the table of hungry families in Independence.

Marvin’s Food Saver was also a big participant, as were other local businesses and organizations. “The Kansas Food Bank with the help of the Independence Chamber of Commerce is happy to report our community raised $3,078.49 to be used for milk coupons at the Independence Food Basket, 317 1/2 West Pecan,” Wilson added.

The students celebrated their success through an enjoyable party, while learning the importance of charitable causes and helping families in need.