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Students at Sam D. Panter Elementary in Hiram proved even the youngest students can make a big dent in the fight against hunger. During a recent canned food drive for Helping Hands of Paulding County, students donated 1,600 pounds of canned food for the community. The drive was part of a service project for Panter's student council. "We decided to do a canned food drive because we thought it would be easy since cans are something people already have in their pantry," said student council, Braelinn Anderson. Anderson said the student council representatives were stunned by their peers' response to the drive. "We were kind of shocked when the school counselor, Mrs. Wallace, told us we collected over a thousand cans. I didn't think it was that many. We were really excited about it." The students' overwhelming charity didn't just help feed families, though. According to Helping Hands of Paulding County, Panter donated more canned food than any other elementary school in the school district. As a thank-you gift, the organization donated 500 dollars to the school. Principal Priscilla Smith accepted the donation on behalf of the school at a ceremony in May and said the funds would go towards student instructional supplies and materials.

panter 800Pictured from left to right: (back row) Student Council President Braelinn Anderson (front row): Student Council Treasurer Luke Eichner, Student Council Secretary Kai Devito, Principal Priscilla Smith, Reva Burks, Executive Director of Helping Hands of Paulding County, Student Council Vice President Ta'Sean McCoy, and Counselor Jacquie Wallice