ELKHART — Local high school students have collected more than 136,000 pounds of food since 2012 for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana through the annual Student Hunger Drive. This year, organizers hope to collect more food by starting a second annual food drive this spring in addition to one in the fall.
The fall drive will benefit the Food Bank of Northern Indiana and the spring drive will benefit The Food Bank of Elkhart County/Church Community Services.
Student teams at local high schools plan promotional events, organize and package food collections, and deliver food to the food bank under the supervision of a faculty adviser.
“We want students doing the whole thing,” said Jessica Hilary, executive director of Student Hunger Drive. “We tell them it’s not the parent drive or the teacher drive, it’s the student drive.”
This year’s drive will kick off at 8 a.m. April 15 with a “poverty awareness breakfast” at Church Community Services. Student organizers who attend will have a breakfast that simulates eating off of a daily SNAP allowance.
“It’s to get them to see how hard it is to eat off that allowance,” said Hilary. Students will simulate “buying” breakfast items – a bagel and orange juice, for example – but must keep the total price of the food at less than $1.40 per meal per person.
Students will be recognized for their efforts at an awards party on the last day of the drive. Prizes will be given for different levels of achievement and for the creativity of promotional events.
Schools that collect at least 2,000 pounds of food will receive participation funds, which may be used to offset Student Hunger Drive expenses, for other projects or as donations to other nonprofit agencies in their communities.
Elkhart County students and schools interested in participating in the spring drive should contact Hilary at 574-387-6110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.