Donations pile up at the Humanities collection site. Photo courtesy of the Poolesville Pulse.

PHS students collect canned food for local food banks in friendly competitions

From Oct. 19th to Nov. 3rd, PHS students donated non-perishables in the annual food drive. Each of the houses competed for bragging rights to see who could donate the most of their assigned foods. After weeks of donating, Humanities came in at first place, followed by Global in second, ISP in third, and SMCS in fourth. Food donated by Humanities and SMCS went to Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg, while food from Global and ISP went to WUMCO Help, directly across the street from the high school at the Poolesville Baptist Church.
According to their website, Manna Food’s mission is using “food distribution, education and advocacy” to end hunger. They provide food to 40,000 people per year and redistribute food to soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters throughout the county. WUMCO Help, which stands for Western Upper Montgomery County Help, gives financial, food, and transportation to those in need. Although WUMCO Help is not solely a food bank, they redistribute 14,000 lbs of food per year. Both of these organizations have large outreach within Montgomery County, so the donated food will be distributed to many in need within the local area.
Within Montgomery County, one in every three students is a FARMS, or Free and Reduced Meals, recipient. Students around PHS, such as 9th grade SGA Vice President Laura Klimas, believe that donation is important because “it allows students to become active in their community and understand the struggle some other students are going through.” Humanities freshman Sophia Bass, who donated to the food drive, said that donating is important “because not a lot of people realize that it’s a big problem.” According to Falcon Media, “in Montgomery County the cost of living to qualify for SNAP,” the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, “is $2,628 per month. And you never know someone’s circumstances, hardships or situation… Life is full of uncertainty.”
Poolesville’s involvement in the annual food drive allowed students to give back to their community, which help others closer than one may think deal with and push through hardships. Manna and WUMCO will both benefit from the donations, and more importantly, many within the community will as well.