SAUK RAPIDS -- Students at Sauk Rapids Middle School took part in their annual food drive - a schoolwide competition that collects food for Catholic Charities.

The food drive is headed by the middle school's student council, including presidents Staci Meyer and Chase Christensen.

"To prepare for the it, we've had monthly meetings and asked [fellow students] what ideas they had to make it better this year and ways we could possibly do it in the future," Christensen says.

"We also do a competition between grade levels and classroom levels," Meyer says.

"So, whoever brings in the most food items wins and they get a reward at the end."

This year's food drive is the third that the two eighth-graders have been involved in, and the numbers say that it has been a success.

"For the totals, last year we had about 5,200 items," Christensen says.

"This year, we've got about 600 more items - so, close to 6,000."

Meyer and Christensen say that leading and participating in the food drive is a fun and rewarding experience.

"It feels good to help people in need," Meyer says.

"[And I like] the competition between grades and classrooms because it gets pretty intense."

"Loading the truck and seeing at the end how well we did, that's pretty cool," Christensen says.

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON