GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It was a bold and strong start to the year when the Kenowa Hills students collected and donated 5,565 pounds of food to kick off the Football Frenzy Food Drive.

It was a mark that would not be tested for the remainder of the year. Eight other schools tried and eight other schools failed to top the Knights’ level of donation.

“I think it’s great that we were in school like three days and the kids just showed out and the community showed out and then were able to give back to our own community. So that’s important,” Principal Nathan Robrahn said.

The two that came the closest to Kenowa’s record mark were Fruitport in Week 5, which brought in 2,570 pounds, and Northview in Week 8 with 2,055 pounds.

In total, Kenowa Hills (5,565), West Ottawa (1988), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (70), Godwin Heights (1330), Fruitport (2,570), Grand Rapids Union (1,854), Grand Haven (768), Northview (2,055) and East Kentwood (261) combined for a season total of 16,461 pounds of food. All of that food was donated directly back into local pantries that serve those districts.

Kenowa’s food was collected and picked up by the Northwest Food Pantry and made an immense difference to the people it serves.

“I am in awe as I look at the food and see how much we have,” pantry director Waverly Knight said after seeing Kenowa’s donation. “This is going to help feed our neighbors like crazy. Thank you to Kenowa Hills. Thank you to the community for donating to the Northwest Food Pantry.”

In the two seasons that the Frenzy Food Drive has been incorporated to the Football Frenzy Tailgate on News 8 Daybreak, it has brought in 30,035 pounds of food from 17 school districts. Each faces their own challenges with hunger and each became part of the solution in helping to fight food scarcity in their community.

“I think there’s so much diversity in our school. And to see everyone come together like that, like just a few weeks in and to have such a big turnout and have everyone to come together in such an important aspect, it really was awesome,” senior Kelly Walski said.

Congratulations to the Kenowa Hills Knights on becoming the 2022 Frenzy Food Drive champion, and thank you to all the schools who made a difference.

Feeding America is a vital partner to all nine pantries we showcased this season, helping them either purchase items at a lower cost per pound, finding items they can’t else where, or providing regular food trucks to pantry clients.

The students’ inspiration has poured over to the WOOD TV8 team. From now until Oct. 28, WOOD TV8 will be hosting an internal food drive for nonperishable items and donating them to Feeding America West Michigan.

Stay tuned to see what kind of a difference the WOOD TV8 staff can make.