While food is a basic necessity for human life, according to the Santa Barbara Foundation, 44,960 individuals (or 10 percent of the county’s population) experienced food insecurity in 2017. This means that for those individuals, food was not always a guarantee, for them or even their children. While organizations like the county’s food bank try their best to end hunger for the county, this task seems to be impossible without the community as whole actively participating in the effort. Fortunately, in collaboration with the local food bank, two Santa Barbara High School clubs Dons for Dons and Teens on The Scene (whose presidents are seniors Will Dunaway and Evan Aitcheson) have helped organize a food drive in conjunction with other class competitions during spirit week at Santa Barbara High.
“The Food drive will happen from Tuesday to Friday Morning from 8 to 8:20” Will said. Since this food drive will happen during spirit week and multiple competitions will occur between the four different grades at the high school, WIll added “There will be bins for each grade near the front of the school and the grade with the most contributions at the end of the week will win this event for class competition week.” Evan then added “each grade will have their own bin.” “The winning class gets title rights on the new Dons Cup trophy. It will have room for engravings each year for the winning class. If the seniors win this year it will say Class of 2022 on the first row of the trophy. Legacy and bragging rights are the prize.” said Will.
While bragging rights and a spot on a trophy are the main prize the four classes will be competing for, volunteer hours are offered to those who do donate food to the bins. “If you donate three items you get two hours of community service, and if you donate five items you will get three hours” Evan stated. He then followed up with “while the food drive is running [people will be there] to supervise and sign off on the hours.”
When asked what food items are most needed Will said “Nut butters, whole grain cereal, pasta, canned tomato sauce, canned protein and tuna.” While these are the most needed food items, the food bank is accepting of almost every donation. If one cannot provide the following items their donation will still be accepted with great gratitude and will still receive community service hours.
Last year a shortened food drive collected about 700 pounds of food which Evan claimed was a “big surprise, we didn’t expect we would get that much.” When asked how much they expect to collect this year Will said “Well, it certainly seems like a reasonable hope that we could double that number, although I would hope for even more knowing how huge of an impact we could have if everyone who is able contributed.” When asked what strategies are being implemented to maximize total food collection Will said “Well, I think incentivizing through community service hours is a pretty great way to garner support. Additionally, having this as a part of the Homecoming class competition week adds another layer to motivate people to bring items in.” While still being in the midst of a global pandemic, finding different opportunities to volunteer where it is safe to do so may seem slim. Students now have the opportunity to not only give back to their community, but also receive volunteer hours while doing so and contributing to the one of many competitions that will be occurring this week.
[Image Credits: Barbara Hage]