DAVENPORT, IOWA– After last year’s event raised a record 734,781 meals, the Student Hunger Drive is back! This year, with fewer food donations from USDA programs and manufacturers/distributors and increased costs for families, the Student Hunger Drive is paramount to increasing the Food Bank’s supplies and varieties of food to distribute to community members in need. Since 1985, the Student Hunger Drive’s six-week, “friendly competition” between area high schools has provided over 16 million meals to children and adults facing hunger in River Bend Food Bank’s 23-county service area. This year, students from 15 area high schools will participate in the food and funds drive, which will engage them in meeting a crucial community need while introducing them to service and philanthropy.
Through the Drive, students plan and execute their own food and funds drives from October 3rd through November 10th. They set goals for their school while “competing” with other area high schools for the honor of being named top fundraisers in their school’s division. During this hands-on, leadership development experience, students receive education on hunger, learn about volunteerism, and work with the Food Bank and their neighborhood elementary and middle schools to organize their school’s drive.
According to the most recent data through Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap Study, hunger continues to be a prevalent issue that requires a community-wide response. In 2021, an estimated 53 million people (down from 2020’s estimate of 60 million, but still up over 30% from 2019) accessed food assistance programs across the U.S., showing that the work of food banks and local food pantries was and continues to be essential to prevent devastating food insecurity during this time of high inflation and economic instability.
“The Student Hunger Drive is a unique fundraiser in the Quad Cities,” said Jenny Colvin, Chief Development Officer at River Bend Food Bank. “Getting students involved helps bring hunger education and awareness to the next generation of community leaders and helps bring in a variety of foods for people in need. At a time when the Food Bank is working harder to keep our shelves stocked for our pantries, the Student Hunger Drive is a great support.”
HOW THE STUDENT HUNGER DRIVE WORKS
The Student Hunger Drive gives thousands of students the opportunity to become a greater part of the community-wide effort to end hunger. Students collect items in their neighborhoods and at their schools, holding special school events and challenges to collect monetary and food donations. Students package the collected food and deliver it to River Bend Food Bank’s warehouse at the end of the competition.
Amounts are totaled and winning schools receive awards for 1st or 2nd place in their division, along with an award for the Mission Challenge Winner – the school that best exemplifies the mission of River Bend Food Bank. Students focus on not only collecting the most food but food that is nutritious and able to be used by their classmates who may be experiencing hunger.
2021 Student Hunger Drive event schedule – media welcome at all events listed. Interviews with select student ambassadors and River Bend Food Bank leadership will be available at Kick-Off and Finale Rally. Contact Liz Dierolf for details and arrangements:
- Monday, October 3rd – Kick-Off Party, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., River Bend Food Bank, 4010 Kimmel Drive, Davenport, Iowa.
- Thursday, November 10th – Loading Day, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., River Bend Food Bank, 4010 Kimmel Drive, Davenport, Iowa.
- Thursday, November 10th – Finale Rally, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., River Bend Food Bank, 4010 Kimmel Drive, Davenport, Iowa.
2022 Student Hunger Drive sponsors:
The Bechtel Trusts, Hy-Vee, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, and the John Deere Foundation
2022 Student Hunger Drive participating schools:
Alleman High School, Assumption High School, Bettendorf High School, Davenport Central High School, Davenport North High School, Davenport West High School, Moline High School, Morning Star Academy, Orion High School, Pleasant Valley High School, Quad Cities Christian School, Rivermont Collegiate, Rock Island High School, Sherrard High School, United Township High School.