By Jessie Graber
Starting in early October, South’s can drive has culminated in collecting over 1500 cans. Each year Island Harvest hosts the “Students Feeding Students” Challenge, a competition in which high schools complete to collect the most food and funds. After the two-month contest period, the three schools that collect the most cans receive awards and are featured on Island Harvest’s webpage.
At South, Facing History students organized the charity effort. Seniors Paige Kaplan and Carly Farkas, along with several other Facing History students, led the fundraising efforts. They also organized a raffle that included prizes from Hermes, Isa Ora, Camp and Campus, Infinity, Bonnie’s Jeans, and Squire Cinemas. Students received a raffle ticket for every can that they donated.
Kaplan said, “Growing up, I always assumed people who live on Long Island were well off. It never occurred to me that there are starving people here—a larger number than most would suspect.” She added, “one out of every ten Long Islanders is going hungry and these people are our neighbors, friends, and people within our community. If we do not help, can we expect anyone else to?”
Facing History teacher Ms. Michelle Sorise encouraged all students to become involved with the fundraiser. She said, “Island Harvest distributes to all community centers around Long Island. For example, the INN [Interfaith Nutrition Network] in Hempstead gets 60% of its food from Island Harvest.”
Facing History’s goal was to collect as many cans as possible. “Food is quickly received and then just as quickly put in the hands of community leaders who give them to those in need,” said Ms. Sorise. Many Facing History students also visited and dropped off clothing and are hoping to work serving meals.
Facing History chose Island Harvest as the recipient of aid because the class wanted to help out nearby communities. “This is something close to our hearts because it affects us,” Kaplan said. “Many people who use the Island Harvest facilities may not know where their next meal is coming from or if they will even receive one. By donating cans to Island Harvest, you are helping many people in need.”