TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Students at Immanuel Lutheran School are helping local food pantries this holiday season by donating more than 100 turkeys and hams. They also recently raised money to help enhance the school’s science curriculum.

On Friday, the school distributed the food to several groups including The Salvation Army, Twin Falls Senior Center, Gooding Food Pantry, St. Jerome’s Food Pantry and Wendell Food Pantry.

On the fundraising side, the school sold nearly 2,000 hams and turkeys to raise money to purchase new science equipment. Students were excited about that, they told News Radio 1310 on Friday afternoon.

The students have been so excited it,” says Principal Michelle Jund. “The kids have been very involved, as well as their families.

Money raised will allow students to do more science projects, including using more technology with their projects, said Principal Michelle Jund. The new curriculum will kick off next spring, she said.

Third-grader Sarah Gee, a student in Hannah Klumb's class, said she hopes the money will allow her class to do more science experiments.

Fellow students Vance Walker and Yaxche Alejo said they enjoy science experiments, and are especially excited about projects with small explosions such as building volcanoes. They hope to see some of those projects come about with the new funds.

All three students said they had fun participating in the fundraiser. Walker and Gee each sold a mix of 10 turkeys and hams to family members, neighbors and friends. Alejo didn’t sell any, he said, but he had fun trying.

At 221, Caleb Visser, a kindergartner in Lindsay Beasley’s class, sold the most turkeys and hams. It was rewarding for him in another way: “I got a $50 gift card,” he said.

Photo by Jaci Tesh

This was the first time the school sold turkeys and hams as a fundraiser, Jund said. The school set a goal to sell 2,000 items, and students had two weeks to accomplish it. They came close, selling 1,975 in all.

Selling hams and turkeys seemed a lot easier than some of the other items the school has sold in the past as part of fundraising, said volunteer Scott Westernmann, who was helping to distribute the food on Friday.

“I really hate ringing doorbells,” he said, “but I didn’t mind going to the neighbors with this one. … Turkeys and hams are something that people buy. They use them.”

With temperatures in the low 40s, winter coats and gloves were the fashion on Friday afternoon, as representatives from the various pantries picked up their donations at the school.

Lt. Troy and Felicia Cook from The Salvation Army, both dressed for the cold, came by the school to pick up their organization's hams and turkeys. They said they appreciate the school and other community members who’ve stepped up to help at this time of year.

The Salvation Army will hold its Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 23, when it expects to feed between 200 and 250 people, Troy Cook said. It also plans to give away some 200 turkeys. The donation from the school helps it and other organizations to better serve those who are hungry and in need during the holidays, he said.

“The students have been so excited about it,” Jund said of the donation and fundraiser. “The kids have been very involved, as well as their families.”