Thousands of cans of food were collected by students at the Southwest Area Career Center (SWACC) in Monett who participated in their sixth annual Christmas canned goods drive. This year, students donated a total of 1,742 cans of food. Tyson's of Monett partnered with SWACC and contributed an additional 200 items. The drive was part of the SkillsUSA Community Service Project.
To encourage participation, organizers of the drive pledged to throw a pizza party for the program that brought in the most cans for the food drive. Students in SWACC's welding program, led by Ed Norman and Raymond Branstetter, won the challenge by bringing in 1,395 cans.
Students who attend classes at SWACC come from 14 different school districts, including Aurora, Billings, Cassville, Crane, Exeter, Miller, Mt. Vernon, Purdy, Southwest, Marionville, Pierce City, Verona, Wheaton and Monett. Each year a sending school's name is drawn to determine the recipient of the canned goods. This year, the canned goods were donated to the Verona area.
Verona FFA students and their advisor came to SWACC on Dec. 15 to transfer the goods to one of their local churches.