Oak Creek elementary schools have friendly food competition to help the hungry

OAK CREEK (WITI) -- Food pantries across the region are fighting to keep their shelves stocked, so one local school district is stepping up to help. The elementary schools in Oak Creek have collected food for weeks in hopes of giving families in need a delicious Easter meal.

Don't underestimate the power of little hands. Their strength and determination can be measured in boxes filled with food.

"The kids have been really excited about it," said Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) President, Nikki Grudzielanek.

Six elementary schools in Oak Creek are working to feed their community.

"We're joining together to help beat hunger in Oak Creek and feed our friends in need," said Grudzielanek.

The Parent Teacher Organization wanted to give back to they created this friendly competition among the students to collect as many canned goods and non perishable foods as they could.

"It's awesome. We're gonna win, I know it," said Riley Grudzielanek, student at Edgewood Elementary School.

At Edgewood Elementary School their contributions are weighing down the bus.

It's the same story at Shepard Elementary where students filed out of the school, food in hand, ready to donate.

"I think this is a really good cause because we should be helping people in need in our community," said Olivia Graham, student at Shepard.

Last year they collected 13,000 items of food, this year they gathered 13,700 items. And it will fill the empty shelves at the local Salvation Army.

"We see anywhere from 50-80 families each week coming in asking for food help. The things that are on the shelf now they'll be gone by the end of this week," said Cornell Voeller, Salvation Army Manager.

But the shelves will soon be full again.

The food will also be donated to All Saints, St. Stephen's and the United Methodist Church in Oak Creek.

And for those wondering, this year the students at Edgewood Elementary won the Big Food Bowl.

They will receive an ice cream social and bragging rights while hundreds of families in the area will get a much needed meal.