DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – The 31st Annual Student Hunger Drive is officially underway in the Quad Cities. More than 400 area high school students were at the River Bend Foodbank Monday night to kick off the campaign.
With one in five children in the Quad Cities dealing hunger, students at 16 area schools want to “Bag Hunger” to collect food for those who need it.
“I can’t imagine not having food to eat on the table,” Keshav Wagle, an ambassador for the Student Hunger Drive, said.
Area high school students have been helping fewer people experience that feeling for 31 years.
“You can do something, like you, yourself can make an impact,” Vianka Herrara, a student at United Township High School, said. “You think, ‘Oh, I’m just one person,’ but in reality everyone thinks that, once they come together they can do a lot.”
Last year, the student hunger drive brought in more than 489,000 pounds of food and this year, they’re hoping to collect even more.
“Obviously every year we want it to be more and more food to feed the hungry, but our goal is to spread awareness and to get high school students to really enjoy giving to the community,” Liz Treiber, the executive director of the Student Hunger Drive said.
“It’s so cool to see you making a direct reaction to problems,” Wagle said.
The six-week-long hunger drive campaign kicked off with a talent competition.
“It’s so exciting to see them have fun and get excited about helping other people, they get so creative,” Treiber said.
Even though this is a competition, students like Wagle and Herrera say there’s so much more to it than that.
“We emphasize that even though this is friendly competition, we are working as one as the Quad Cities to solve hunger and that’s really cool to see,” Wagle said.
“It’s a way to bring the schools together to help one cause,” Herrera said.
Quad Cities Christian and Rivermont Collegiate schools tied in the talent competition. Rivermont ended up winning the tie breaker, which got them a head start in the hunger drive with 2,000 pounds of food from Hy-Vee. Quad Cities Christian got 1,000 pounds of food from Treiber Construction.
Over the next six weeks, students will plan events in their schools and communities to bring in food donations. A finale rally will take place Nov. 10 at the River Bend Foodbank to see how much food area students collect.