A group of local preschool students and their families at the Primrose School of Ahwatukee displayed their charitable side in the form of a food drive for St. Vincent de Paul.

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, on Nov. 17, the roughly 140 students completed a drive that brought in 35,000 items of canned food to be donated to the center. The drive was done at all six of the Primrose schools across the Valley, and the Ahwatukee Foothills branch accounted for more than half of the 64,000 total donations.

"I'm very proud of our students and the support we receive from our families," owner and Ahwatukee Foothills resident Veronica Hunnicutt said. "A lot of what we get is monetary donations from parents that we then forward on to St. Vincent's."

This was the third year the drive has taken place since the school opened in 2008. This year, the drive started on Nov. 1. A representative from St. Vincent de Paul was on hand to collect the donated food.

Hunnicut said the students did extra chores around the house to earn money in order to donate more food, and that the drive is part of a character development program that teaches the importance of giving back. In addition to that, she said they try to increase the amount of food brought in every year.

"It is without a doubt our biggest fundraiser of the year," she said. "Last year, we had 26,000 items and this year it was 35,000. We try to set the goal higher every year."

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international nonprofit organization that provides aid to poor and homeless people.

The Primrose School of Ahwatukee, 3922 E. Chandler Blvd., is a private, academically focused preschool. For more information, visit www.primroseschools.com/schools/?schoolid=245 or call (480) 460-1575.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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