Food drive donations decrease by 44 percent

Sam Morgan, Copy Editor

As he gazed at stacked boxes of food and nonperishable goods, senior Lucky Deutsch completed a very successful Pack the Truck event alongside other class board members. The promising start to the 2018 food drive gave Deutsch high hopes, but what he observed the following week was a troubling lack of participation and donations from his fellow students.

Total food drive donations decreased by 44 percent from 2017 to 2018. From 2016 to 2017, there was a 12 percent decrease, and there was an 8 percent decrease from 2015 to 2016.

Execution of the food drive was the same as previous years, except for the addition of one new strategy.

Instead of competing against other 2-3 classes, participants competed based on grade level, and no tangible incentives or prizes were used as in the past.

“[The new strategy] was basically just emphasizing doing good for your community instead of doing good so you get something in the end,” senior Grace Grouzard, community service committee member, said.

Deutsch said he believed eliminating the 2-3 class competition would be more encouraging for students participating who assumed classes with more spirited reputations would win every time.

“We were hoping we would have a lot more [participation] since the expectation wouldn’t be that a few specific [2-3] classes would win,” said Deutsch. “We still got a lot of food, but not as much as we have gotten previously.”

Grouzard said she believes there has been a similar decrease in participation in service and spirit events at Glenbrook North due to the minimal amount of enthusiasm shown by the student body.

“We can do as many [Pack the Truck events], Waterway fundraisers or send out as many videos as we want, but if the students don’t feel a passion for the food drive or that spirit within them … it’s not going to go anywhere,” Grouzard said.

Aimee Wool, senior class board sponsor, said the boards will be looking at various changes for the food drive moving forward. One possibility includes limiting the drive to solely monetary donations rather than the collection of packaged food items.

According to Gayle Curcio, community coordinator at the Northfield Township Food Pantry, both monetary and food donations are beneficial to the pantry, but money can sometimes be stretched further because the pantry is able to buy more products that are in demand.

Social studies teacher Jeff Kallay said he believes the food drive is the most important charity event the school does all year, and a greater amount of participation  and passion for the cause is essential.

“I think making people aware of the fact that they’re not just dropping off a can, they’re feeding somebody in their neighborhood, [will increase participation],” said Kallay. “That food is eaten by someone nearby. Sadly, it’s eaten by people at this school. If people are aware of that, it’s hard to not stop in your pantry and take out a few cans to donate.”

According to Deutsch, he found that many students  were unaware of the significance of donating. He said he believed this was due to their lack of awareness of the benefits the food drive has on our community and others.

“[Students should] realize what this food goes towards and know the impact just bringing in a can of soup can have,” said Deutsch. “If everyone could bring in a couple of cans, we could make a huge difference.”