Jesuit continues giving with 44th annual food drive

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Students at Jesuit High School fill boxes of food that will be delivered to needy families during the schools 44th annual food drive. The food will help feed 500 families in Multnomah and Washington counties. The school raised $34,000 to purchase perishables and gifts for those in need. The Jesuit High School Student Center was transformed into a food sorting and distribution center last week with canned food reaching the ceiling.

The JHS student body brought all of the food collected over a two-week period and began compiling food boxes on Dec. 20 for 361 families in the Portland area. Last year, enough food was pledged by first period classes for 480 families. Students have committed to the same amount this year.

The Crusaders food drive is in its 44th year and has seen an increase in participation over the years. In its first year in 1969, roughly 40 families benefited from the project and just a little more than $350 was raised. by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Maddy Sandquist watches as Favian Rahman removes a can from atop a pyramid of canned goods to be put in a box for a needy family during their schools 44th annual food drive.

“As Jesuit High School has grown, so has its food drive,” said Scott Powers, food drive coordinator. “The drive not only helps families during Christmas, but also provides non-perishable foods for local food banks as well.

“We are seeing many first-time families signing up for food boxes this year. The need is tremendous.”

Students, faculty and staff volunteered through the night of Dec. 19 sorting and preparing the food for delivery on Thursday, Dec. 20.

“Not only are we collecting food these two weeks, we are raising awareness about hunger in Oregon,” Powers said. “We hope students will realize hunger is not a once-a-year issue. It is year-round.”

The families were pre-selected through St. Vincent de Paul.

In addition, alumni of Jesuit High School hosted their own food drive last weekend. Alumni delivered donations to more than 1,500 families and 30 local TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Jesuit juniors Emily Hodges, left, David Ganz and Jessica Bramlett fill a box with food for a needy family during their schools 44th annual food drive.

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