West Bank 12th graders giving back to seniors with food drive

Published 12:10 am Saturday, October 22, 2016

EDGARD — Generations are coming together for a unifying cause on the West Bank.

There are still two weeks left in a food drive to benefit the area’s seniors, an effort that culminates in a career fair for local high school students and a thank you celebration to the region’s older population.

The Senior Class of West St. John High School and the West St. John Stakeholder’s WB Kids Club are hosting the food drive through Nov. 4.

During this inaugural event, organizers said, the senior class is using donated food items to create individualized holiday food baskets for senior citizens residing on the West Bank. Any excess food will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

WB Kids Club Director Yish Edwards said the food drive began receiving food donations from the St. John Parish District Attorney’s Office before the official start date and has continued to grow.

Donations of food and other items may be brought to sponsor locations, including the D.A.’s Office in LaPlace and Edgard, River Region Children’s Association, St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. John Parish Assessors Office and Raising Cane’s of LaPlace.

Edwards said the event, dubbed “Giving Thanks to Our Seniors,” is an opportunity to bring past, present and future generations together.

“The food drive encourages community involvement,” she said. “The holiday gift basket give away provides students the opportunity to say thank you to local seniors for the contributions they have made in the past. The career fair encourages higher learning and increases awareness of employment opportunities for all generations within St. John Parish.”

According to Edwards, West St. John High 12th graders have gone “full throttle” promoting the food drive and collecting the items needed to create their baskets.

“It was important to combine the seniors receiving the holiday baskets, the career fair and the students, because they represent the past, the present and the future generations of St. John Parish,” she said.

The works comes together Nov. 16 at West St. John High School when a panel of guest speakers, including Sheriff Mike Tregre, newly elected Assessor Lucien Gauff and District Attorney Bridget Dinvaut, as well as other successful professionals, provide information about their careers.

West St. John students will have an opportunity to ask questions and become familiar with the various employment opportunities within St. John the Baptist Parish. At the end of the discussion, senior citizens from the community will arrive through transportation provided by the Council On Aging.

West St. John students will greet arriving seniors and present them with holiday food baskets, and Raising Cane’s will provide lunch.

One person looking forward to the gathering is student council vice president Ja’Quisha Oates.

“I am excited to meet them, talk to them and hear about what they have going on,” Oates said, adding many of her classmates have talked about their plans in making special baskets.

Oates encourages all those in the community to help the effort by donating basic needs like canned goods and toiletry items.

For more information about food drop off sites or sponsorship, contact Edwards at 985-817-2312 or WBKidsclubinfo@gmail.com.