On Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 2:15 p.m., the Jesuit High School Student Center will become a food sorting and distribution center. The JHS student body will bring all of the food that has been collected over a two-week period and begin compiling food boxes for 385 families in the Portland area. All leftover food will be shared with local food pantries.
The JHS Food Drive is in its 55th year and has seen a huge increase in participation over the years. In its first year, 1969, roughly 40 families benefited from the project, and just a little more than $350 was raised.
“As Jesuit High School has grown, so has its Food Drive. The drive not only helps families experiencing food insecurity during the Christmas season but also provides non-perishable foods for local food banks that serve families in need year-round,” said Andrea Casey, Food Drive coordinator.
Students, faculty, and staff will volunteer through the night of Dec. 13 sorting and preparing the food for delivery on Thursday, Dec. 14, beginning at 12 p.m. “Throughout these last two weeks before Christmas break, our students are collecting non-perishable food items and making donations to go towards purchasing perishable foods. We are also raising awareness about local food insecurity in Oregon. We hope students will realize this is not a once-a-year issue. It is year-round,” said Casey.
The families are pre-selected through Lifeworks NW, St. Vincent de Paul at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, and several Beaverton elementary schools. Students, faculty, and staff will deliver all of the food that has been collected at Jesuit High School over the prior two weeks.
In addition, alumni of Jesuit High School will host their own Food Drive December 18-23. They will deliver 3,200 food boxes to families across the Portland area in a joint effort with Lincoln High School and University of Portland.
“The Alumni Food Drive brings our community together to continue our mission of being men and women for others,” said Kathy Baarts, Alumni Director. “The need for food continues to increase and we have continued to grow in the number of families we serve.”