From October 23 to October 27, the RM SGA hosted its annual Canned Food Drive. All the cans from this fundraiser were donated to the Manna Food Center, a local charity organization eliminating hunger in all of Montgomery County.
As an incentive, SGA hosted a competition between all first period classes. The class that collected the most cans would receive breakfast from the Omelette Man, and classes with more than 100 cans would earn doughnuts and juice. This year, Mr. Hines’ class won the competition with a total of 874 cans, and Ms. Shay’s, Ms. Liles’, Ms. Lyons’, and Mr. Colchao’s classes each collected over 100 cans.
However, the canned food drive was not only about winning a competition. “What it’s about, is giving back to the community, it’s about instilling values of conscientiousness, of philanthropy, of teaching students that they are always in a position to give back,” SGA president Albert Zhang said.
Sophomore Joy Wang agreed and stated, “I think that the canned food drive is really important because we can help lots of people who are suffering from hunger. We should give back to the community by donating whatever we can.”
Despite the significant number of cans collected, many students still do not know the importance of the food drive. “Many people think that the cans go into some bureaucratic organization, and it kind of fades away into nothing, but the people who actually get these cans are people who you walk by in Rockville Town Center everyday,” Zhang said.
As some students do not know how much their help is needed, they occasionally bring in cans that are expired or dented. These actions could potentially be very harmful for the families that receive and consume the cans.
According to Zhang, this issue may be addressed by visiting the Manna Food Center and interviewing the recipients of the cans. “What I think is really important is putting a face to the people who are actually going to be eating the contents of the cans,” he explained. “If [students] knew that a family in need… [is] going to be eating these cans, [they] wouldn’t bring something that’s expired or rotten.”
In total, SGA managed to collect over 2200 cans to donate to the Manna Food Center, surpassing last year’s total of 2106 cans. However, this number falls short of previous years, when the students of RM managed to collect around six thousand cans. Many classes donated zero or very few cans. If these classes participated in the drive to the same extent as several classes did, RM would be able to donate so much more food to Manna Food Center.
Fortunately, there are still opportunities to give back to the community. In the future, the SGA aims to host more fundraisers, such as the Toy Drive, in which students can donate toys to children living in poverty. These fundraisers are part of the SGA’s initiative to give back to the community. Thanks to the students of RM, many families in need will have food on the table these upcoming months.