Hurry, hurry and run, run were among the supportive chants heard at the two Food Lion stores in King early last Friday morning as the sun began to appear on the horizon. Principals, faculty members, parents, cheerleaders and friends gathered to watch their favorite team compete in the High School Challenge of the King Rotary Club’s RUSH for food. The pairs of students had three minutes to load their carts with non-perishable food items in a race against the clock to see which school representatives could gather the most in the allotted time. Participating teams were Heavon Ratcliff/ Rachel Martin and Brenda Chavez/Jacob McGee from North Stokes; Hannah King/Edward Byers and Sarah Birkholz/Austin Lilly from South Stokes; Kaitlyn Barham/ Kendal Yancy and Evelyn Murphy/Skyler Belbin from Stokes Early College; and Jacob Ingles/Kruti Patel and Cameron Heath/Madeline Newsome from West Stokes. West Stokes students came out on top at the Main Street Food Lion with a total of 155 items, while South Stokes won the tie-breaker over West Stokes at the Mountain View store with their monetary value of $336.51 for the 170 items collected. With Friday being a teacher workday, the students could have slept later, but they showed great energy and enthusiasm in getting up so early to do something good for the community.
RUSH, which is an acronym for Rotarians United to Stop Hunger is a Rotary District initiative designed to bring awareness to the problem of hunger and help alleviate it. Members of King Rotary raised money through sponsorships and with a grant to help pay for the groceries that the students collected. Sponsors included retired teachers from Chestnut Grove, Friend2Friend Boutique, Lisa Wiley, Frank Dray, Sandra Holt, Wesley Carter, Carroll Memorials, Sue Jarvis, Bill and Deanne Moore, Brian Foster, Homer Dearmin, Pam and Benny Lisk, Perry Carroll, Law Office of Dustin Nichols, Jim Miller and the Stokes Family YMCA. The students were able to snag over $2100 worth of food and Food Lion pleasantly surprised the group by announcing that they would match all the carts to double the effort to total more than $4200 in food for the morning. All the groceries were divided between North Stokes Food Pantry, East Stokes Outreach and King Outreach. In addition, each school is conducting a food drive which will conclude this week and will add to the total for the project.