Helping Team Rafiki on their way to victory, eighth grader Daja’h Saul packs and stacks as many boxes as she can. On the morning of the last day, Saul, along with over seventy student volunteers, worked together to count the last of the boxes.
Hakuna Matata! It means no worries because DHS has once again provided over 19,000 pounds of food to 16,000 individuals and families across Louisiana.
During the annual canned food drive through Jan. 31-Feb. 8, DHS collected 20,228 cans of food to be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans.
In Louisiana, one out of every six people struggles with hunger. With the rising costs of food, housing and necessities, unemployed residents or those who have minimum wage jobs have a strong need for food assistance. As a result, people turn to their local food banks such as Second Harvest.
DHS’s annual food drive makes them the largest school contributor to Second Harvest Food Bank. Around the end of spring the food bank runs low on donations, so the contribution from DHS keeps the supply sufficient enough to last through the summer.
During the drive, the atmosphere in DHS’s halls consisted of friendly competition and hopefulness to reach the goal of 20,000 cans. Encouraged by a Disney’s The Lion King-themed competition, religion teachers led their classes to see who could bring in the most cans. Though they enjoyed the competition, students also embraced the service aspect of the drive. Every morning students came in with more cans to be packed and stacked into boxes. On the last day of the drive, over 70 students volunteered to pack and count the last of the boxes.
At the end of the drive, Team Rafiki, Mrs. Aline Delgado’s classes, won the competition with 5,674 cans. “This year I really put everything into this canned food drive. I volunteered to go shopping for my class twice, and it was such a rush,” said senior Mary Coll. “We are so fortunate to be able to provide the amount of cans that we do, and helping made me realize how truly blessed I am.”
Though students may not see the impact they have on the recipients of the cans, the sight of the large stacks of boxes keeps them determine to donate annually.
– Lauren Nguyen