Olivet donationsStudents at Olivet High School and Olivet Middle School challenged each other to collect the most food to donate the Good Neighbor Program. What a difference a little friendly competition makes. The student bodies of each school collected more than 1,400 items to donate to the program, which is enough for nearly 85 families in the Olivet School District.

“The students truly showed that the little town of Olivet has a really big heart,” said Olivet community member Carol Hartman.

The Good Neighbor Program, housed at the Olivet Congregational Church, distributed food to community members in need on Wednesday, Dec. 18 and Thursday, Dec. 19 as part of their Christmas program. The pantry provides food to families that need assistance all year long, but the holidays are when the program really shines.

Each Christmas, families that have used the pantry throughout the year or are identified by Olivet Schools gets two boxes of food, a bag of personal care items, laundry soap, toothbrushes for every family member and a $10 gift card to Dollar General.

“The donations are a tremendous help,” said Marie Steele, director of the Good Neighbor Food Pantry. “It wasn’t just the community schools, there were several groups at Olivet College that did food drives as well. The community schools have been collecting for several years now. Their help is invaluable for what they’ve donated for the community.”