Student rates

Student Hunger Drive sets new record

After a banner year in 2021, students in Quad Cities came back hungry to top it all off.

And in the 36th year – with renewed energy and a desire to do even more good in this difficult year – the Student Hunger Drive 2022 campaign has brought a collective 817,038 meals from 16 area high schools and of their elementary and middle school counterparts, according to a Thursday release of River Bend Food Bank.

The 36th Student Drive collected a record 817,038 meals from 16 area high schools and their elementary and middle school counterparts.

Launched in 1985, the Student Hunger Drive has provided more than 16 million meals to children and
adults facing hunger in River Bend Food Bank’s 23-county service area. This year, students from 16 area high schools showed their determination to match the success of previous years through this six-week event, which engaged them to meet a critical community need while introducing them to service and to philanthropy, the statement said.

The students planned and executed their own food and monetary donation campaigns from October 3 to November 10. They set goals for their school, while “competing” with other high schools in the area. During this hands-on leadership development experience, students received training on hunger, learned about volunteering, and worked with the food bank to organize their school’s campaign.

A rendering of the expanded River Bend Food Bank, at 4010 Kimmel Drive in West Davenport.

According to Feeding America’s 2022 Map the Meal Gap study, one in 10 adults (and one in seven children) experience food insecurity locally. Hunger continues to be a widespread problem that requires a community-wide response. In 2021, about 53 million people accessed food assistance programs across the United States, the Davenport-based food bank said.

With this year’s inflation rates and food costs soaring in the wake of the COVID pandemic, the work of local food banks and pantries continues to be critical in preventing families from making impossible choices. between buying groceries and paying for other necessities.

“The thousands of students who participated this year give me great hope for the future leadership of our community,” said Nancy Renkes, president and CEO of River Bend Food Bank, in Thursday’s statement. “I am overwhelmed by their creativity, their determination and their compassion for their classmates who are suffering from hunger. We have a wonderful community of businesses and organizations that support their work.

Nancy Renkes is President and CEO of River Bend Food Bank, effective October 1, 2022.

“Many thanks to Hy-Vee, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, John Deere Foundation and Bechtel Trusts for their sponsorship,” she said. “On behalf of those facing food insecurity in our region, a big thank you to the students, school counselors, school administrators and everyone who contributed to the Campaign. Congratulations to all! It was a great day for our community. »

Top performing schools

In the final rally, held at the River Bend Food Bank on Thursday, November 10, schools were awarded prizes in three divisions (based on student enrollment) for 1st and 2nd place based on total food and funds raised. The 2022 winners are:

• Division C (up to 299 students enrolled):
oh 1st place – Morning Star Academy
oh 2nd place – German High School
Division B (300 to 1,250 students enrolled):
oh 1st place – Orion High School
oh 2nd place – Assumption High School
Division A (more than 1,250 students enrolled):
oh 1st place – Pleasant Valley High School
oh 2nd place – Bettendorf High School

Additionally, the Most Improved award was given to the school in any division that had the greatest percentage improvement in their collection from 2021. This year’s 2022 Most Improved award went to the Morning Star Academy, whose efforts have increased by more than 100% compared to the previous one. year.

The students celebrated at the food bank earlier on Thursday November 10, 2022.

The 2022 Mission Challenge Prize – a special prize awarded to a participating school who writes a 500-word essay and presents a poster board explaining how their school embodies the mission of the River Bend Food Bank (“to lead the community effort to end hunger in the ‘eastern Iowa and western Illinois’) – was presented at Moline High School. Excerpt from Moline’s essay:

“We did our best to raise as much as we could because we know there are so many people in our schools who depend on the food bank. With all of a student’s other responsibilities, they should never have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. »

For more information on the food bank, visit his website.