Food drive ends week three of six-week event

By: Allie Taiber

From a student adding a can to the donations to a child receiving a hot lunch, it’s that time of year again where students and staff have the opportunity to make a vast difference in our society.

Black Hawk County Schools are going head to head in this year’s annual food drive. Last year, Cedar Falls High School rose to the top, collecting an astounding 22,000 pounds out of the total 37,000 pounds worth of food and money from the entire community including surrounding schools such as West, Union, East, Hudson, Waterloo Christian and Valley Lutheran.

In Black Hawk County, one in every five youths struggles with hunger, and one in eight individuals suffers from food insecurity in the Cedar Valley. The Northeast Iowa Food Bank (NEIFB) has been striving to improve those numbers since 1981, with a mission statement stating: “To provide nutritious food and grocery products to nonprofit agencies and individuals in Northeast Iowa while offering hunger education programs to the community and those in need.”

NEIFB Food Solicitor Sheri Huber-Otting has been working with the Food Bank since 2008 and has been involved in the food drive every year afterwards. Her aspirations are high for this year’s food drive, as it’s one of the Bank’s biggest fundraising events of the year, “My goal is always to help the students reach their goals for the food drive.  I am the Food Bank person who organizes it, but the students are the stars.”

These stars stand directly within Cedar Falls High School. Thankful for the opportunities of coming together to help the less fortunate, Student Body President Sara Ashar recognizes the value of the student food drive. “It’s tough to acknowledge that so many people, including students and their families who attend our very own school, go to bed hungry every night,” Ashar said.

Faced with a challenge to beat last year’s record, as well as being able to maintain the school’s top position, Ashar and the student body are determined to accomplish each goal with a variety of events and fundraisers planned for the upcoming month such as weekly bake sales, Trunk or Treat, the new “Lights Out” school dance and many other volunteer efforts to collect donations.

“Some may chose not to participate in the food drive, and that is ultimately their own choice, but imagine the warmth that fills your heart knowing that you helped feed a family,” Ashar said.

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