More than 100,000 cans of food filled the upper quad of El Toro High School in Lake Forest on Nov. 18, and now those cans are filling the pantries of two local food bank organizations.

Benefiting South Orange County Outreach and Adopt-A-Neighbor, the nearly two-week long El Toro High Annual Canned Food Drive brought in 111,922 cans, the highest total in school history, according to school officials.

This drive has proven to be one of El Toro’s most impactful traditions,” El Toro Director of Student Activities Christopher Nguyen said. “All of El Toro unites to show not only their school spirit, but to also show their compassion for helping the community.”

Students and faculty began bringing in canned food to their homeroom classrooms on Nov. 7 and continued until Nov. 18. On that final day of the drive, homeroom representatives carried their classroom donations to the upper quad, tallied the totals and relayed the information to ASB athletic commissioners Drew Miyoda and Mia Guevarra.

“Barrels, crates and trash bins overflowing with cans were all brought out for the final count,” Nguyen said. “In a matter of one hour, the entire campus, anxiously awaiting the final count, was out packing crates together and placing food on wooden pallets to load into the designated trucks for the food bank organizations.”

When the trucks were loaded, Nguyen finished tallying the final number, which was then announced by Miyoda and Guevarra over the school’s PA system.

The total easily topped the 105,156 cans donated a year ago and broke the school record. Last year, Nguyen said, South Orange County Outreach and Adopt-A-Neighbor had enough food from the drive in their food pantries to feed their communities for an entire year.

El Toro thanked its sister schools — Serrano Intermediate, La Madera Elementary, Olivewood Elementary, Lake Forest Elementary, Santiago Elementary and Rancho Cañada Elementary — which also supported the event. And we should note that each can has since been logged as a kind act.

“El Toro High School is proud to be able to bring 111,922 acts of kindness to the One Billion Acts of Kindness campaign in Orange County,” Nguyen said.