Every year, the Camas Washougal Business Alliance (CWBA) coordinates with Camas and Washougal high schools to raise food for the people in need in our own communities.  This competition is known as Stuff the Bus and has been the biggest food drive in our area for the past six years! For the first five years, this event was run as a friendly competition between the high schools, but last year, we decided to switch it up!

The competition is over, but the collaboration has begun. Both Camas and Washougal high school students are happy to be working together toward this common goal. As a team, they hope to be able to beat 2012′s record, setting a combined goal for 2014 at 85,000 pounds of food.  All parties involved feel that moving together toward such a powerful goal will help to cultivate a stronger connection between the students and the communities, which is what the holidays are all about.

Last year proved that the change from competition to collaboration was a huge success and that there is no change in the amount of people affected by this amazing event. For those that don’t know, the beneficiaries include the C.A.R.O.L. program, the American Legion, Children’s Home Society and the Interfaith Treasure House.

The C.A.R.O.L. program provides food and gift baskets to families in need throughout the Camas and Washougal area during the holiday season. The American Legion also provides food and gift baskets to families in the Skamania County area as well as to military families in the Camas area. The Interfaith Treasure House is a well-known food bank in the Camas community and the Children’s Home Society is a food bank in Washougal that serves all of East Clark County.

Over the past few years, outside assistance for all of these worthy causes has been dwindling due to the conditions of the economy. More and more people are in need and the larger food banks are lower on food stores that ever before. That is why it is so important to keep giving to Stuff the Bus. This food supplies almost all of the food for Children’s Home Society and we are hoping for enough to give the Interfaith Treasure House what they need for their food stores as well.

This year the weigh in event will be held on Friday, December 5th, 2014 but food will begin to be collected beginning November 1st. To get involved, you can send non-perishable food items to school with your children or grandchildren, purchase raffle tickets at one of the sponsored events, donate money online at www.cwbusinessalliance.com, purchase a food bag at your local Safeway or drop food off at your local high school on the day of the event.

Every bit of food from Stuff the Bus stays right here in our community. When you donate, you aren’t just giving food, you could be feeding a neighbor or a friend.