Waynesville Career Center FFA, DECA and Skills USA students recently joined forces to collect 3,162 pounds of canned food to benefit the Good Samaritan Resource Center in Waynesville.

In addition to collecting food at the WCC, DECA and FFA students also handed out hot chocolate, took photos on a sleigh and collected canned goods and donations during Christmas on the Square from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

"We want to thank all the students, parents, teachers, businesses, and citizens who helped feed the hungry this holiday season," says Jason Long, Waynesville Agriculture/FFA Advisor.

FFA members also collected nearly $200 in their classroom during the three weeks leading up to Christmas on the Square.

The local food drive for Good Samaritan Resource Center is part of a statewide effort coordinated by Missouri's Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). The project is titled "Show-Me Hunger: Unite the Fight" and is a partnership with the Missouri Food Bank Association. The goal of the Show-Me Hunger project is to help feed hungry Missourians and to raise awareness for hunger in local communities. Statistics show one in eight Missourians receive emergency food assistance every year, and 24.8 percent of Missouri children live in households experiencing food insecurity.

During the 2011-12 school year, nearly 75,000 students participated in Missouri's Career and Technical Student Organizations (like the WCC), which provide opportunities for students to develop employability skills, including leadership, communication, problem-solving and teamwork.