High school students kick-off Student Hunger Drive contest

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- The 33rd Annual Student Hunger Drive kicked-off Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. Students from 17 different high schools came together to make some noise and get ready for the food drive.

"There's a lot of energy here," Rock Island High School senior Donell Clark said. "It's like, 'Whoa!'"

Some schools put together skits with a message about hunger for the annual contest. North Scott took away the title from last year's winner, Davenport Central.

"It's exciting to see how eager they are to collect cans and make a difference in this society," Rivermont Collegiate senior Lauren Schroeder said.

Tonight's events start a six-week long contest. High schoolers are going head-to-head and door-to-door to collect the most food for the River Bend Foodbank.

"It's just an opportunity to teach this next generation about that importance of doing that something for people who are less fortunate than themselves," River Bend Foodbank CEO Mike Miller said.

The students say they're really doing this for their classmates. One in five children in the Quad Cities is food insecure, unsure of where their next meal will come from.

"I have 14 kids in my class," Schroeder said, "so at least two of them are going hungry. It kind of scares me a little because how can I change that?"

High schoolers will try to change that over the next six weeks. And there's a high bar set for them. Last year, the project collected over 420,000 pounds of food. That's enough to fill up about half of the warehouse at River Bend Foodbank.

"I think it's kind of cool, but in a sense, they said the food here, it's just like a month supply," Clark said.

He said they should try to collect enough food for a whole month.

The food drive wraps up on November 1 when the high schoolers will load up and deliver their food to the warehouse for a final weigh-in.

Miller said people interested in donating should look for "buy one, get one" items at the grocery store, donate one and keep one for themselves. He also said the foodbank can accept expired food because he said most foods are still good to eat long after that date.