By Kyandra Simmons, News Writer 

The purpose of JROTC collecting canned goods is to feed the hungry and to give back to the community during the holidays. JROTC continued to collect non-perishable items until January 16.

“This is not just benefiting JROTC; it’s benefiting Keenan as a whole. It shows that we care, and we’re not just thinking about ourselves,” MSG Roberts, JROTC commander, said.

Anyone can donate: students, teachers, administrators, coaches, guidance counselors and janitors.

“I donated about 10 cans to my IBA class for extra credit; I thought it would be a good experience to participate in giving back,” Junior Jakari Smith-Lind said.

Keenan’s goal for collecting cans was 1,000 cans. JROTC members collected 525 cans overall.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Saran Hasinger, school guidance counselor, started a program called the Backpack Program. Hasinger is also collecting canned goods for the same purpose, but instead, she’s giving back to the hungry students of Keenan.

She started the program at her old High School in North Carolina, Douglas Byrd High School; the program has been in schools around the world for over 15 years. Douglas Byrd continues to do the program after three years.

“For some reason, high schools are overlooked where hunger is concerned,” Hasinger said.

Food is a basic necessity; therefore, everyone should have access to it.

“I get very upset knowing that there are students in this building that are hungry. I don’t understand how we as a society have allowed this situation to get so out of hand,” Hasinger said.

The Backpack Program is not only relying on students but staff members and community members as well.

“We have not received any donations as of yet; however, in January, we will begin to see donations,” Hasinger said.

The program is a year-round event. For more information contact Hasinger at 714-2529.

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