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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — If there ever was an acceptable reason for ditching school, a group of students at Center Grove High School found it on Tuesday. As part of the school’s annual “Day of Caring,” the students pitched in with the Midwest Food Bank and their hurricane relief efforts.

“I just feel like it’s something that we need to do as part of America,” student Daniel Green said.

For hours, students packed, sorted and loaded a semi’s worth of relief supplies. Their hard work helps the food bank’s effort that Executive Director John Whitaker says will likely continue for a year.

“In the 10 years that we’ve been doing disaster relief as first responders for the Salvation Army, we’ve never seen events like this unfold in the United States,” Whitaker said.

So far, Whitaker says the food bank has sent about seven truckloads of relief from their Indianapolis branch. But when it’s all said and done, Whitaker says all of the food bank’s branches will likely send around 300 truckloads to Texas and Florida, double the amount they sent for Hurricane Katrina relief.

“We’ve seen the community step up, but we can’t let up. This is a long-term response we’re going to do for 6-12 months,” Whitaker said.

So far, Whitaker says Hoosiers have stepped up in a big way, donating enough food in the past week to fill a truck every day. While the donations are greatly appreciated, Whitaker stresses the benefits of sending monetary donations.

“When you send a dollar, you might be able to buy one can of vegetables with that dollar, but we can buy two to three. So we can really three fold do the response in a much greater way,” he said

Whitaker says it’s important to remember how long their relief efforts will have to continue. And because the Midwest Food bank is community funded, he’s asking Hoosiers to keep giving what they can for as long as they can.

“They say many hands make light work. We need many hands to make this work right for us, so we can do more.”

For more information on how you can help with Midwest Food Bank’s relief efforts, click here.