La Salle students strive for 50,000 pounds of holiday donations

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - It's no secret times are tough, especially around the holidays.  That's why students at La Salle High School are trying to help their community with their "Truck Full of Love" initiative.

Students at La Salle have made a 20-year tradition out of their food drive, but in recent years, they've taken it to the next level by filling the back of a semi-truck to the brim with donations.

On Tuesday, students went door-to-door looking for donations.

"I don't want to see anyone going hungry.  Especially there's a lot of families that have it really rough right now," said Curtis Nichting, who helped with the food drive.

Year after year, the food drive gets bigger.

A 38,000 pound requirement has been set for this year.  But, where does that number come from?

"We have about five agencies that have been depending on La Salle High School for almost 20 years.  The 38,000 pound requirement, that's basically to meet their need," said organizer Steve Dalton.

38,000 pounds may be a requirement, but, 50,000 pounds of donations has become the goal.

"What we've noticed is every year we do better at the drive, but every year the demand has gone up.  With the economy, and now the food stamps being cut, we do what we can," added Dalton.

Last year, the drive brought in 41,000 pounds of items to help those in need.  They're already halfway to their goal, and expect to clear last year's mark by the end of the week.

"It's really encouraging because every night we try our hardest, and we really want to provide for the community.  I think setting record numbers is just more of a reason to come out," said Ben Jones, a senior at La Salle.

The drive runs from mid-October, through this month.  With numbers this high, and a school record in their sights, students are feeling gratified.

"People are good in nature and I feel like if we just give them the opportunity to do something good with their time, or money, they'll definitely take the chance to seize that opportunity," said Gabriel Vargasmaier, a senior at La Salle.

With the drive now halfway over, around half of the student body has shown up at least once.  Organizers say they actually average over 100 students a night.

On Tuesday alone, the students collected over 5,500 pounds of food.  They'll be back out again Wednesday night, once again going door-to-door for donations.