Making a difference, one can at a time

By Kerensa Suzara

As the weather becomes colder, helping out homeless shelters becomes more necessary. With COVID-19, new struggles come into play, and obtaining food and toiletries becomes harder. Every year, MTHS kicks off a food drive, collecting non-perishable foods to donate to the local food bank, Concern for Neighbors, on Nov. 1. Each year, our school is able to collect over 5,000 cans, making a huge impact on those who need it the most.

Thus, shelters depend on the donations that we make each year. During a typical year, students would stand outside of both QFC and Safeway to collect food and cash donations from shoppers. This year, we have struggled to collaborate with such stores due to COVID-19.

After conversing with these stores and reminding them of the importance of the food drive to the community as a whole, QFC eventually agreed to let us collect cans starting Nov. 20. However, this is a later time frame to begin collecting as compared to years in the past, and our can collection has been less proficient as a result.

In addition, events that usually help bring in cans for the food drive have been canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. For example, both Macho Volleyball and Jam Session normally bring in a huge collection of cans because people could donate cans instead of paying admission to watch the event. This was a great way to encourage participation in the food drive and helped us collect a significant number of cans for the food bank.

Unfortunately, the district decided these events must have no spectators, since it isn’t an obligated event according to WESCO athletics. However, ASB is currently trying to postpone these events in the hopes that they can be held in the future in order to maintain the spirit both events bring.

To make up for the loss of donations, we have been collecting cash donations online as well. This can be accessed via the QR codes around the school or can be found where you pay your fines on the MTHS website. $1 is equivalent to two cans. Furthermore, we have a drive-through collection at the school as well, where you can drive by and drop off cans. Our next drive-through will be on Dec. 1, providing one last push before the food drive is over.

Our big collection days outside of school are where we get the most donations. The collections are student run, and we could use some support! These days of collection count as community service. ASB has received some help from National Honor Society students, but we can always use more volunteers. Since we are collecting outside of school, everyone collecting cans at QFC must initially take cans home until they can be brought to the school the next day. Therefore,  it would be much more efficient if multiple students could ease the load and come help collect cans. It’s a great way to give back to the community, and it is fun, too.

Our QFC dates are currently Nov. 20 to Nov. 24. ASB is also picking up donations from PASS classes on Wednesday and Thursday, where we can also use the help. If you’re interested, please contact Jeannie Brzovic at [email protected] to sign up.

As we come closer to the end of the food drive, I encourage all of you to donate if you are able to. You can bring donations to your PASS class or donate during a drive-through day, and at QFC. At QFC, there will be students standing outside the doors with a cart where you can bring cans. There are many incentives, the biggest being the ability to help others in our community in this time of need.

Just like in years past, there is also plenty of competition. This year, the PASS class with the most cans will get a hot chocolate and donut party. There is also a competition amongst the classes, for $300 towards their prom. Lastly, this is a competition against Lynnwood High School, so let’s beat our rival school!

As of Monday (Nov. 15), we are at 5,200 cans including cash donations, with Traxler, Matthews and Welman’s PASS classes having collected the most cans. We have about two more weeks until the food drive is over, let’s try to get as many donations as we can!