Quad City students will provide more than half a million meals to those in need thanks to their work with the 30th annual Student Hunger Drive.
With the help of some Corporate Challenge business partners, students from 18 area high schools collected 657,305 pounds of food over a six-week period. The total marks an increase over last year, when schools brought in 652,496 pounds.
With this year's donation, the River Bend Foodbank will be able to provide 547,753 meals to needy families in both Iowa and Illinois.
The grand total was unveiled Thursday night at the 2015 'Finale Rally.'
"It's really fun to come together with all these different schools at events like this. Loading up this morning, it was cool to see everyone else and have some friendly competition among all of us. It's fun," said Erin McLaughlin, a senior at Alleman High School.
Alleman High School students collected the most food overall, winning their division and bringing in 85,255 pounds. Bettendorf High School topped the big school division with 35 pounds per student. Rivermont Collegiate and Crossroads were the other first-place finishers.
Students say the biggest prize, though, is knowing that they're helping Quad City families.
"We also take away that we can make a difference, and we can come together and really change our community," said Ally Gallagher, a junior at Bettendorf.
2015 Student Hunger Drive Winners
Division A: (enrollment 1251+)
1st Place - Bettendorf High School, 35 pounds per student
2nd Place – Pleasant Valley, 30 pounds per student
Most Improved - Rock Island, 53% increase
Division B: (enrollment 300-1250)
1st Place – Alleman High School, 191 pounds per student
2nd Place – Assumption High School, 47 pounds per student
Most Improved - North High School, 9% increase
Division C: (enrollment 25-299)
1st Place – Rivermont Collegiate, 374 pounds per student
2nd Place – Quad City Christian, 126 pounds per student
Most Improved - Quad City Christian, 104% increase
Division D: (enrollment 1-24)
1st Place – Crossroads 294 pounds per student
Most Improved Overall – Crossroads increased 120.7% pounds per student
Most Pounds Collected: Alleman High School – 85,255 pounds