Students at Robert E. Lee High School and John Tyler High School are collecting canned food and monetary donations for the 29th annual Pantry Raid. Each student body hopes to out-donate the other to win a trophy and bragging rights.

“I think the Pantry Raid is a great cause,” Robert E. Lee High School Student Council President Michael Foley, 18, said. “I’ve had the opportunity over the years to do service projects where I see the need in the community for food. To be able to help as a student makes you humble.”

Senior Nia Edwards, John Tyler Student Council president, said, “You never know at school who at home is struggling with meals. Not only can we provide for people we go to school with, but we provide to people outside of school and the community.”

Over the past 28 years, John Tyler and Robert E. Lee students have collected over 1.3 million pounds of food combined, providing over 1.1 million additional meals to children, families and seniors served by the East Texas Food Bank.

”The Pantry Raid matters because our East Texas communities sorely need the energetic engagement of our young people in the fight against hunger,” East Texas Food Bank CEO Dennis Cullinane said. “The student bodies of Tyler Lee and John Tyler are our future and through Pantry Raid are making a substantial contribution towards building a better world — and we are grateful.”

Donations of nonperishable canned food items will be accepted at both high schools through Friday. Monetary donations for the Pantry Raid can be made online at The results of the competition will be announced during halftime of the football game between the rival schools this Saturday at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

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