JOHNSON CITY, Tennessee (WJHL) – Coca-Cola Consolidated, Samaritan’s Feet and Food City have teamed up to bring special gifts to students at South Side Elementary School.
About 340 students received gifts on Wednesday, and program organizers said their goal was to remove barriers to student learning.
The children were given shoes, socks, food and backpacks.
“We all know how difficult it is for children and families, not just this school year but last school year,” said Kaytee Jones, principal of South Side Elementary School. “So just to motivate them, to encourage them to do well in school and to keep going.”
South Side and other schools selected by Coke for the program received items totaling approximately $ 12,500 per school.
“It’s very special because you just get their enthusiasm and their honesty,” said Mike Combs, Coca-Cola’s chief engagement officer. “No one gives this better than a child, so it really is a blessing to be able to give to them and experience their joy.”
Combs said South Side was selected because it is a Title I school.
“Title I is a school that you know needs a little more support than other schools,” Combs said. “We try to identify schools in the community that can use the need the most, so we try to give back as much as possible. “
“We’ve been talking about it in our daily news, our daily ads for over a week and they stop me in the hallway, and they can’t wait to get their free shoes, so that’s a big deal,” Jones said. “They are excited about the Food City bags, one of the kids here told me, ‘We have food for two weeks! “”
The event was one of eight held across Coke Consolidated territory to serve 3,000 children.