The Student Government Association (SGA) officially kicked off Mt. Hebron’s 42nd Annual Canned Food Drive on Nov. 16.
The Canned Food Drive has always been an important Mt. Hebron tradition. Every year teachers, students and community members collect canned goods and money to help provide food for needy families as the upcoming holiday season approaches.
Last year over 61,000 cans were donated and hand-delivered to over 165 local families, which exceeded the SGA’s goal of 50,000 cans. This year, the SGA and the Mt. Hebron community hopes to surpass the previous year’s record by collecting even more cans.
“We hope to run a smooth operation this year with record numbers of cans donated and students volunteering after school,” SGA member and junior Libby Milano said. “We’re also partnering with a few new organizations and groups in the community, so we are hoping to expand the scope of the Canned Food Drive even further.”
This year, the SGA is partnering with National Honor Society (NHS), which runs a toy drive, and a local church, which hosts a square dance event with the price of admission being a children’s gift, to collect toys for needy children in light of the holidays.
Leadership classes do their part to aid the drive as well. The different leadership class periods compete with one another to collect the most cans. Their entire second quarter is spent collecting cans and money from local neighborhoods. They also have their own drives at grocery stores and local businesses to collect cans and donations.
“Our goal for my class is to collect 10,000 cans,” said senior Andrew Unkenholz, who is a student in Mr. Michael Tittsworth’s third period leadership class.
The SGA organizes contests between all sixth period classes with specific competition days, such as money day, which boosts both donations and excitement for the project. Rivalries often develop between both teachers and students. The progress of each class as well as the school as a whole is tracked on posters in the hallway.
“When the SGA notices that we need more of a certain food, we create competition days where the focus is on bringing in something specific, like vegetables or pasta. That way, we can ensure that all of our families have just the right amount of foods. The class that wins each competition day gets a prize,” Milano said.
The SGA works alongside student volunteers around the clock to ensure the success of the drive. Cans pile up in supply closets, the cafeteria and auxiliary gym as they wait to be bagged and delivered by dedicated participants to the families on the last day of school before Winter Break.
“The Canned Food Drive brings me so much joy, especially this time of the year,” junior and SGA member Sophie Bronow said.