Although it's impressive that the school system collected 142,992 pounds of food and $97,476 in cash last year for the Harvest for the Hungry–Kids Helping Kids food drive, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Maxwell said he hopes to collect even more this fall.
"We raise the bar of expectations every year, and every year I am inspired by the lengths to which our students, parents, teachers, and staff go to help our county’s less fortunate,” Maxwell said in a release. “Children who worry more about why they didn’t have breakfast or whether they will have dinner can’t very well be expected to apply themselves fully to their academic endeavors."
Maxwell challenged schools and the community to increase donations 5 percent to collect 150,142 pounds of food and $102,350 in cash through Nov. 4.
"I urge all of our employees, parents and students, as well as our community and business partners and other governmental agencies, to join us in this drive," Maxwell continued in a release. "Together, we are creating a brighter future for children and, ultimately, for all of us.”
County schools will hold a variety of events to promote the campaign to collect money and nonperishable food items.
At Hillsmere Elementary, where last year the school placed third with 5,600 pounds of food, 5th grader Caroline Foley and Mrs. Brown recently accepted an award from the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.
This year, the school has already collected $656. Every $1 counts as 8 pounds
for the contest, which means that is 5,248 pounds in food, Hillsmere Parent-Teacher President Kathi Lynch said in an email.
"This does not include the cans that have been brought in!" she said.
Last year, Hillsmere Principal Mary Wagner's student got to duct tape her to the wall as an incentive. This year?
She said she'd rollerblad around school for an entire day if the school places well. And she adds a P.S.: "I've never skated before!"
The food items most needed include:
- Canned meats
- Peanut butter
- Canned vegetables or fruits
- Canned soup
- Pasta and macaroni and cheese
Items can be donated at any public school in the county and checks should be made out to the “Anne Arundel County Food and Resource Bank” with the notation “Kids Helping Kids” in the memo line.
For more information on the Anne Arundel County Food and Resource Bank, call 410-923-4255.