Tonight a number will pop up on a screen showing how much food was raised by local schools.
But what it won’t show is the amount of hard work these students put in.
“Definitely worked more hours I would say. Last night I was at school until about 10 o’clock, packing food and palleting,” Gabby Mowbray, a Pleasant Valley Junior”. So it’s been a lot of work and late nights.”
In Iowa at Pleasent Valley high school, it started with the students and teachers.
“We had our school competition, so would have incentives. I had one teacher who had us bring in 10 cans then we could turn in our homework a day late, so something like that,” said Allisa Pandit, a Pleasant Valley sophomore.
But they couldn’t do it by themselves.
So the community pitched in.
“With Hyvee and fairway we had grocery shifts, so members of our student council would sign up for those and we’d stand outside with buckets or carts and we’d ask for donations or people would go in and buy us cans,” said Pandit.
Across the river in Illinois, different state, same story.
Especially for Alleman who only has 423 students.
“We collect at churches, we collect at Walmart, for football we did fill the wagon at games, We have events. Movie night, taco dinner night,” said Marlene Wetherell, the Alleman faculty adviser.
She goes on to list about 10 more things.
So you see how much work goes into this.
Which makes it less surprising that these schools have such lofty goals.
For PV it’s 60,000 pounds of food.
For Alleman it’s 75,000 meals.
Will they meet those goals?
“I hope so, yeah,” said Pandit.
“I’m pretty confident,” said Wetherell.
They’ll find out tonight.
And though the whole thing is a competition, everyone is doing it for one reason.
“It can be long days, long nights depending on the events that we do, but the kids have their heart in it for the right reasons,” said Wetherell. “And we know that there’s a need out there and our kids here at Alleman want to help fill that need, not having people go hungry.”
And with all the food that got raised this month, a lot of people won’t.