Student’s ‘donation’ inspires Box Elder Police to hold food drive
Peanut butter and jelly donations are being accepted at the Box Elder police station.
BOX ELDER, S.D. – Students at Douglas High School have unknowingly started a food drive.
The Box Elder Police Department will be collecting jars of peanut butter and jelly through Oct. 15.
The reason? After a student “donated” sandwich remains to a police unit Friday, the Box Elder PD says they have been inspired by the “generosity” and will hold their own food collection.
“I don’t know what motivated them or what prompted them,” said Lt. Chris Misselt with the Box Elder Police Department. “They suddenly felt like they needed to donate food to the hungry as a patrol car passed. That kind of inspired us to use their generosity as a springboard and to use their example and to take on a PB&J cause of our own.”
The method of aiming for the window was also tested out by the department but deemed an unfavorable tactic.
“Our cars are not optimized to receive food donations in this way,” said Misselt. “Our cars have grates and bars over the rear window, so that it’s very difficult to get food through. Even if the window is down, the chance of getting a food product in there for donation is very, very low.”
Food insecurities in and around Rapid City has been a problem for many years.
“Families don’t often know where their next meal is coming or if they’re going to have enough after they take care of other stuff to provide the foodstuffs they need, especially in a quality and nutritional way,” said Misselt.
There are currently no food resources in Box Elder, and by holding this “PB&J drive,” the police department hopes to bring awareness to this issue.
“Our hope is to take the juvenile hijinks and spirit that’s associated with that and turn it into something good,” said Misselt. “In the Rapid City area, 120 to 160 people utilize the food bank on a monthly basis, and that’s too many. One is too many.”
Many requests were made to make Friday’s “donation” go viral. And that’s exactly what the Box Elder Police Department intends to do.
“We think that’s a fantastic idea. We would love this PB&J drive here to go viral and to really generate some of those foodstuffs for our local resources,” said Misselt.
If you want to donate peanut butter or jelly, you can drop it off (but don’t aim for the cars), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct, 15.
The students from Friday’s “donation” is not facing charges, but Box Elder Police hope the lesson sticks.