Student Hunger Drive hits historic high
By S.G. Barnes
Bettendorf took second place in the River Bend Food Bank’s annual student hunger drive with a total just below 53,000 pounds of food, the highest total in five years. Events such as fill-the-truck, the skit competition, and several others contributed to the school’s total.
Fill-the-truck is an event hosted annually between Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley High Schools to raise donations for the hunger drive. The two schools competed to fill trucks with more donations than the other school, and for the second year in a row Bettendorf outraised Pleasant Valley with a total of $4650 and more than 2000 pounds of food.
“It’s all about getting it out there,” said fill-the-truck chairperson Ahlivya Hill. “The reason we were able to do so well was because people were talking about it.”
A lesser known aspect of the hunger drive is the skit competition put on by River Bend Food Bank. Each year the food bank allows schools to compete with brief performances for a grand prize of 2000 pounds towards their food totals.
This year Bettendorf put more effort than ever into the skit, dedicating an entire committee to creating the best skit possible. “I was honestly really satisfied with the end result,” said Loukia Constantinides, chair of the skit committee. “I spent nights working on it and seeing it all play out was great.”
Students performed the night of the competition, and a history making verdict was reached; Bettendorf had tied for first place with Rivermont Collegiate, the first tie in the competition’s history. Each school walked away with 1000 pounds of food toward their hunger drive.
Other events including the silent auction, harvest fest, capture the cans, and canvassing helped raise more than 4000 pounds of food. In addition, one of the largest sources of donations was solicitation outside of the Devils Glen HyVee. Co-chair of the community committee Amari Dunn believes that the kindness of others propelled Bettendorf to the top this year.
“Coming out of a pandemic, it’s going to be hard for a lot of people to buy the food they need. This sort of thing relies on human decency and kindness, and from what we’ve seen so far people have been really kind,” said Dunn.
The total efforts came in at 52,792 pounds, second only to Pleasant Valley’s 79,300. It was a postmark year for both schools, and the food totals of all schools combined will provide 734,781 meals for the local community. This is the highest total River Bend Food Bank has seen in its history of hosting the student hunger drive.
S.G. Barnes is a junior. This is his
second year as a staff writer for The Growl.