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Bloomington schools food drive nets 76,000 pounds

Bloomington Public Schools and its business and civic partners collected over 14,000 pounds of food and $12,400 in cash donations during its 10th Annual District-wide Food Drive that concluded this week.

This year’s total collection of 76,126 pounds when the cash donations to pounds conversion is applied is the largest total in the food drive’s 10-year history. For each dollar donated, up to five pounds of food can be purchased. All of the food and cash is donated to Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP), a non-profit agency serving low-income families and individuals in Bloomington, Edina, and Richfield.

The annual food drive has collected 238 tons (476,188 pounds) since its inception in 2009.

Bloomington’s public schools, early childhood centers, central departments and business and civic partners participated in the drive, including Bloomington Smiles Dentistry, City of Bloomington (fire, police and city staff), Crossfit 952, Gander Outdoors, General Dynamics, Martin Luther Campus, The Nerdery, Nestle Health Science, Olympic Place Office Tower, RGC Gymnastics, Thorud Inc., The Toro Company, United Bankers’ Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank.

For the third consecutive year, Westwood Elementary School topped all schools with the highest combined total of food and cash collected at 11,333 pounds. Westwood’s business partner, United Bankers’ Bank, contributed 5,108 pounds of the school’s total.

“Incredible food drive. The VEAP Food Pantry is overflowing with wonderful donations,” said Nathan Rust, VEAP food program manager, in announcing the final results.

The Parent Teacher Student Advisory (PTSA) Council, Bloomington School Board and its Youth Advisory Council coordinate the annual food drive.