To be involved in a community isn’t just to enjoy the presented activities or reek the benefits, but also to help others in your community and other communities all around you. Last week, Atholton High School held its annual food drive, collecting food from students that willingly bring in food for those less fortunate in the community.
“Around 65% of our food comes from community donations, including food drives from schools. Thanks to students like yourselves, our clients get more, great food for their families,” said Sarah Schindehette, volunteer coordinator for The Community Action Council of Howard County. Her council’s main mission is “to diminish poverty, enable self-sufficiency and advocate for low-income families and individuals.”
Atholton holds many fundraisers throughout the year for the community: Club Becca’s Closet clothes drives, Red Cross Club’s blood drives, and National English Honors Society’s book drives. The food drive, organized by the Feed the Future Club, though, is one of the most participated events of the year and one of the most highly valued.
“The reason I brought in food was to help the community in more of a physical and direct way instead of just providing moral support,” said Ryder Neal, a junior who brought in two cans of chicken noodle soup.
Across the country, many people can’t afford to get their three meals a day. According to Feeding America, a campaign to help poverty stricken families with food, 41 million Americans struggle with hunger. That is about 13% of the American population.
Although the Atholton food drive is only a small contribution, it means a lot to the community. Not only does it show that all Atholton students care about their community, but also how willing everyone is to aid those in need.
“It certainly has a big impact on our neighbors struggling with food insecurity,” said Schindehette. How big of an impact it has is not a question; according to DoSomething, 62% of Americans in need receive help from food banks.
In the upcoming years, Mrs. Schindehette hopes for “a change in stigma of shopping at the food bank and how the general public views it.” With the ample food provided by Atholton students, families have one less problem to worry about and can work on getting back on their feet better than ever.