Key Club Will Host Annual Canned Food Drive From Nov. 7- Nov. 22


Key Club’s Canned Food Drive Flyer

Sasha Zahler, Contributing Writer

According to Save the Children, one of the first global organizations directed towards the development of helping childhood starvation, there are an estimated 12 million children in America struggling with hunger. Events such as food drives are excellent resources to provide those in need.

Key Club advisors Margaret Locke and Kirsten Ahrens are conducting Solon High School’s (SHS) annual food drive that will start Nov. 7 and end Nov. 22. This canned food drive aims to raise donations for those in need, and food-insecure homes are a large issue in Cuyahoga County as well as in the United States.

“The main goal is to provide as much as we can to families in need, so we will take all non-perishable food items that kids donate and monetary donations and drop them off at Our Community Hunger Center, which is in Twinsburg,” said Locke. “But what’s nice about our food drive is that we are helping people in Solon as well.”

World hunger on a national level in the United States is an issue that is constantly expanding, and the food drive, although some may think it is too minuscule to create change, it’s providing help to a more significant cause.

“Being able to help others is huge,” said Ahrens. “The pandemic and the recessions that are happening right now are nationwide, people really are struggling, so the more that we can help those people out, even if it’s just a little bit right now, is super important, and especially with inflation and the rising prices of food, it’s becoming a massive issue.”

Student participation is vital for raising substantial donations to create a difference. With the food drive, there will also be a competition that will consist of 1st period classes competing to see who can raise the most donations.

Students can bring in canned foods, but if they bring in $1 that will amount to two cans. At the end of the drive the donations will be added, and the 1st period class that wins will receive a breakfast.

“I think you should participate because you might be in their shoes someday and need the help,” said Ahrens. “So if you can donate now, cause you might be in that position later in life whether you expect it or not, you know it’s good just to put it forward now.”

SHS guidance counselor Rick Nowak, has been passionate about the issue of hunger even before he came to Solon, but in his time at Solon, the food drive has been an event that he looksed forward to.

“I just found that in our city in this day and age we have so many homeless people that are hungry that the kids are hungry,” Novak said. “I just was passionate about trying to help in any way I could.”

Nowak is passionate about the food drive because of the help it provides Solon and the surrounding communities, being able to see students get involved and have fun while helping a more substantial cause.

“I found out that the kids got involved, and then they started doing their own thing when they got to college, and it kinda just spiraled from there, and one little thing in one school creates a nice little trickle effect down the road,” said Nowak.

Students can bring in all non-perishable food items, but Our Community Hunger Center is most in need of canned meat, canned vegetables, canned fruit, pasta sauce and cereal.

Our Community Hunger Center provides “A seven-day supply of nutritious food, personal hygiene items, and paper and household supplies. We have regular quantities of a variety of meat, chicken, dairy, fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, rolls and baked goods.”

The food drive is a way to give back to those in the struggling community. The knowledge among those in the Solon community about the issue of food in impoverished might be unknown. The food drive is trying to shed light and exemplify the importance of the issue at hand.

“I just think it’s a really good cause,” Locke said. “You know a lot of people are struggling with having enough money to provide food for their families. Especially after covid, a lot of people were hit with job loss and stuff like that and are still rebounding. It is a really good way to help those in need and make sure that people don’t go hungry.”

Our Community Hunger Center, recipients in need will find them through various events created explicitly for these circumstances.

According to Our Community Hunger Center, “During fundraising calls to local area residents and businesses, we encourage our donors to refer neighbors and friends in need. We also urge those we call who are in need themselves to come and see us.”