Around Thanksgiving and Christmas time, community groups and organizations often host food drives to fill local food pantry shelves.

A group of Caribou 8th graders got into the spirit of the season and organized a food drive. The students in Mrs. Holly Rhinebolt’s 8th grade class delivered multiple boxes of non-perishable food items, which filled the Pines Health Services community food cupboard.

Maine ranks third among states for highest rates of hunger. Over 69,000 residents reside in Aroostook County. According to Feeding America Map the Meal Gap, The County has the highest rate of food insecurity at 16 percent. That works out to over 11,000 individuals who do not have a reliable food source and worry where their next meal may come from.

Caribou Middle School teacher Rhinebolt explains, "The need for food in our community has never been greater. This food drive allowed us to fill this small food insecurity gap and teach the kids a valuable lesson on the importance of giving to others in need, a lesson that they will remember for years to come. Additionally, the kids had a really great time."

The students were also were able to donate to Catholic Charities and the Bread of Life Soup Kitchen.

Casey Bouchard of Pines Health Services and Cary Medical Center gives Mrs. Rhinebolt's class a big thumbs up. "Our team is so proud of Mrs. Rhinebolt’s students for their kindness and willingness to help those who are less fortunate. Their energy and positivity filling the cupboard was so great to see, I hope they know how great of an impact they have made in their community.”