VIROQUA, Wis. -

A busload of food is heading towards a local food pantry.

Students at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Viroqua have been collecting food as part of their "Spirit Month."  It's the ninth year they've collected donations, but the first year they're helping a local food pantry.

The approximately 50 students packed the bus full and weighed the difference. It turns out they collected a little more than 3,000 pounds of food.

One of the students gave a big chunk of that, donating $500 from his own bank account. "There's lots of people out there who need help from other people like us that have things and a lot of people don't have certain things that we have, we just gotta, yeah, help them out," said senior Colin Landis.

The food pantry estimates the food will keep the shelves full for three weeks.

The principal hopes the lesson of generosity stays with the students for a lifetime. "We're feeling like we need to continue this and not have it just be something we've forgotten and hopefully be something we can contribute more and more to," said principal Deb Walker.

The previous two Spirit Month fundraisers have included sending money and blankets to needy orphanages in South America.