ASB is midway through hosting its annual Food Drive on campus. Students can contribute by donating food or money to designated boxes placed in classrooms during second period. The class that contributes the most amount of money and food will be awarded a pizza party. As of November 14, the press deadline, 126 pounds of food and $533 have already been collected.
All of the money donated will be given to Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB) where SHFB staff will either mail order certain food products or hand select them at SHFB warehouses. SHFB can purchase up to 2.5 pounds of food with each dollar through their unique partnerships with the United States Department of Agriculture, local farmers and Feeding America, a national non-profit food supplier. On top of the money and the food drive that is currently taking place at our school, ASB is currently hosting a branch of fundraising at the Draeger’s supermarket in Los Altos.
However, not all of the donations are donated to SHFB every year. Last year, ASB donated a fourth of their earnings to those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. They also gave 900 pounds of food to the Community Services Agency, a local food distributor in Mountain View, in 2009. This year, they are planning to aid the victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines through Red Cross.
“Sometimes we’ll peel off and do other things but it depends on when the disaster is,” Assistant Principal Cristy Dawson. “[For example], we couldn’t donate to the tsunami in Thailand because it happened in December, which was after the food drive that year. [However,] sometimes we do separate fundraisers for [such disasters], like we did for the earthquakes in Mexico and China.”
Unlike past years, ASB is focusing more of its time on obtaining publicity for the drive. One of its means to attract attention includes having ASB members dress up in food costumes. ASB has also been hosting informational presentations during the daily announcements. ASB plans to have the food drive mentioned in the email newsletter, Words from Wynne, in order to raise awareness. The overall purpose of these entertainment-themed advertisements is to educate students and parents on the impact they can have on the community.
The Second Harvest Food Drive was first initiated at our school in 1997. Ever since that first year, when 414 pounds of food were collected, there has been an upward trend with a total of 2,646 pounds of food and $3,898.57 donated last year.
ASB has made one major adjustment that encouraged this increase in donations: an added alternative to donate money rather than solely food. Up until 2007, students were only asked to bring their excess supply of non-perishable or canned foods. But since the option to donate money became available, the drive has had a significant increase in donations; although students may only be able to bring in a small quantity at a time, SHFB is able to obtain a significant amount with just a few dollars. However, Dawson still finds value in having students donate their own food.
“I think it’s quite symbolic that the excessive food you have or might not be eating is shared to the less fortunate,” Dawson said. “However, the reality is, it’s easier for some kids to open their wallets and pull out a few bucks than [carry] bags while getting to school.”