In Scott County alone one in five kids are missing meals and one in eight adults are missing meals, according to the River Bend Foodbank. Although some people may not be aware of this problem, hunger is a major issue in the Quad Cities.
Every year in the fall for six weeks, 16 schools from around Scott Country come together for a competition to get the most donations for the River Bend Foodbank.
The Student Hunger Drive was founded in Davenport by Pete Pohlmann back in 1998. Since then, 16.1 million pounds of food have been collected by the SHD.
Around the U.S. there are only three SHD and those places include the Quad Cities, the Carolinas, and Northern Indiana.
For the past four years Bettendorf High School has won the SHD. Last year, the chair of Student Council’s SHD committee was Ally Gallagher, also known by BHS Student Council members as the “Queen of the Hunger Drive.” Thanks to donations from the committee and school BHS raised 62,392 pounds of food in 2016.
Almost 125,000 people do not know the next time that they will be able to eat, and every year 22 million meals are missed according to the River Bend Foodbank.
Even though some people believe those who need food are homeless, this simply is not true. According to the River Bend Food Bank, 63 percent of people who need food are having to choose between putting food on the table and paying for medicine.
The SHD recently had a dinner called the ExtravaCANza to celebrate the new student ambassadors and the hunger drive starting up. At this event, Elizabeth Hogan, the executive director at QC Food Hub, talked about her experience with the kindness of people donating food.
When Hogan was young, her father was involved in a car accident. Hogan’s father was the “breadwinner” of her family and could no longer provide for his family while he was hurt. Hogan’s community and school came together to help out her family by bringing food to her house every day until her father was well enough to work again.
The SHD is an event that I am extremely passionate about and after hearing Hogan’s story, I was even more inspired to help out as much as I possibly can.
The SHD ends on Nov. 9 but that does not mean hunger stops on Nov. 9. After the SHD anyone who wants to help fight hunger can volunteer at the River Bend Foodbank by going to their website and clicking volunteer. There are numerous opportunities to help out with such as the Mobile Food Pantry.
If the River Bend Foodbank and SHD did not exist, a large amount of people in the Quad Cities would be without food. Even though not all people have enough food yet, help from those who are more fortunate could stop this problem.