Students raise the most cans in Three Rivers League

by: REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Lake Oswego High School leadership students banded together to organize a food drive.About 92,000 children in Oregon eat meals from emergency food boxes each month, according to the Oregon Food Bank — and local students are helping fill those boxes.

For the second year in a row, Lake Oswego High School teens collected the most cans in a contest among Three Rivers League schools, which also include Lakeridge and West Linn high schools. Between money and can donations, the LOHS teens recently collected the equivalent of more than 44,000 cans, about 14,000 more than last year.

The students gave monetary donations to Oregon Food Bank, a nonprofit that provides emergency food to hungry people through a statewide network of hunger-relief organizations. The nonperishable goods went to Tualatin School House Pantry, a community-organized food bank.

LOHS food drive committee co-chairpersons and leadership students Shane Johnson, Samantha Wong and Jamie Zimmerman spearheaded the food drive, which Zimmerman said exceeded expectations — the students figured the total would be about the same as last year. She added that, though she’s proud of how her school did, the contest’s outcome isn’t the most important thing.

“Things like competitions are really trivial” compared to “helping people in the community who need help,” Zimmerman said.

Students reached out not only to the LOHS community but also to their neighbors to support their food drive.

“I think we’re becoming more aware of the issues in our community, but we’re also becoming more aware of what we can do to help,” Zimmerman said.

LOHS Principal Cindy Schubert helped motivate the students with a party Dec. 20, the last day before winter break.

“In regard to the food drive, I think we have students who are passionate about making a difference in other people’s lives and so they committed to making a difference,” Schubert said. “This attitude moved on to others, and it was truly a school-wide effort.”

Former LOHS Principal Bruce Plato, who retired in June, shaved his head to reward his students’ food drive success last year, and English teacher Julie Davis dyed her hair navy blue.

Lakeridge High also was in the Three Rivers League competition, and Pacers announced in November that, including cash donations, they gathered the equivalent of 27,000 cans.

Some people may think teens only think about themselves, but Chris Hill, LOHS leadership teacher, said the food drive shows that local students are focused on helping others.

“It’s been pretty amazing to see the abilities of our kids,” Hill said. “Kids are underestimated.”

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @jilliandaley.

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