Student food drive kicks off this week

By : 
Marlene Deschler

Helping fill the shelves to overflowing at the Houston County Food Shelf is what the Spring Grove High School (SGHS) Student Council aims to do as they participate in the Channel One Student Food Drive that began on Monday, Oct. 29. 

This year’s goal of SGHS Student Food Drive is 9,000 pounds of food! The Food Drive will wrap up on Nov. 20.

“We’ve been working hard planning for the past couple weeks,” commented Student Council President Rhiannon Skauge. “Please support our community and Student Council and donate to help reach our goal of 9,000 pounds.”

To kick off the Student Food Drive, a pep fest was held at school on Monday with the student body to help them get excited about the Food Drive and to remind them to spread the word to their families and friends. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the students will be canvasing the town and will be Trick-or-Canning – going door-to-door and instead of asking for treats, they will be asking for food donations or monetary donations. 

On Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 2, there will be a bake sale at Merchants Bank. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, there is no need to make supper – stop at Red’s Hometown Market for a turkey dinner with all the fixings beginning at 3 p.m. 

On Nov. 16, there will be a bake sale at Red’s Hometown Market. There will also be a box at Red’s where food donations can be placed any time during the food drive.

At school, students (kindergarten through twelfth) can bring in food during the food drive dates for an inter-school challenge. 

The grade with the most pounds will have a special celebration. Thursday, Nov. 8 is Jersey Day and Wednesday, Nov. 14 is Pajama Day; students pay $1 or donate a food item to participate in these special days. A favorite event – Kickball Tournament – is planned for Friday, Nov. 9; participants pay to play.

Items most needed at the food shelf include canned meats (tuna, chicken, seafood and turkey), canned and boxed meals (soup, chili, macaroni and cheese), canned or dried beans and peas (black beans, pinto beans, and lentils), pasta, rice, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, and peanut butter. 

Healthier versions of food items are always preferred. Examples are canned fruit in light syrup, no sugar added applesauce, low sodium vegetables, canned white or sweet potatoes, powdered or flaked potatoes, brown rice, whole grain/bran cereals, reduced fat whole grain crackers, and powdered milk. 

Please remember that homemade items, perishable food, rusty cans, opened items, expired items and glass jars are not usable at the food shelf.

About the food drive

The Channel One Student Food Drive is designed to engage students in a meaningful service project that will have a direct effect on the community in which they live. 

Participating in the student food drive builds responsibility, leadership skills, and civic engagement. 

Channel One Regional Food Bank has over 200 partner agencies and programs in 14 counties. The student food drive is an excellent way to get students to connect with their local food shelf and address the needs in their own communities. 

Channel One Regional Food Bank Executive Director Virginia Merritt stated, “We are so appreciative of all of the local food shelves that partner with Channel One throughout the year to fight hunger in Southeast Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. We love to see the energy and enthusiasm of these students as they plan fun events to make a difference in their communities. These are our future leaders.”

There is a growing need in our community to support families that are struggling with hunger.  Currently, 9.2 percent of people living in Minnesota and 10.5 percent of people living in Wisconsin are food insecure. 

Channel One and its partner agencies and programs are working to end hunger in Southeast Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.