Zachary school children, with the help of local agencies and volunteers, collected more than 9,000 pounds of food for the annual Zachary Food Pantry Pack the Pantry drive, said EeLin Golan, Food Pantry executive director.

This year’s Pack the Pantry trophy winner is Zachary Elementary School. School classes lead the district, collecting a total of 2,154 pounds of food for the effort. Other participating schools were Zachary Early Learning Center, Northwestern Elementary, Rollins Place Elementary, Copper Mill Elementary, Northwestern Middle and Zachary High.

Golan said the effort was aided by volunteers from the Zachary Community School Board, Zachary community schools, City of Zachary, Southern University Law School and members of the Zachary Fire Department who collected the food from each school and delivered it to the Food Pantry.

Zachary High teacher Rosetta Bynum said the school’s Future Business Leaders of America club will reward a pizza party to the class at each school that collected the most food. High-performing high school students will be treated to a special breakfast.

Zachary Food Pantry, Inc. is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization and a member agency of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

Golan said the Food Pantry serves 336 pre-qualified households and reaches 984 people who live in the Zachary School District and meet set income requirements. “We are served by an average of 60 volunteers who contribute between 409 to 786 hours a month,” she said. “On average, we distribute just under 34,000 pounds of groceries a month.”