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Jesuit High School's 53rd Annual Food Drive Aims to Help Hundreds of Local Families During the Holidays


Jesuit High School's 53rd Annual Food Drive Aims to Help Hundreds of Local Families During the Holidays

Food collected by students will reach more than 15 feet in Student Center

BEAVERTON, Ore. – On Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 2:15 p.m., the Jesuit High School Student Center will become a food sorting and distribution center, with canned food that reaches the ceiling, just more than 15 feet. 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 315 families in the Portland area. All leftover food will be shared with local food pantries.

The JHS Food Drive is in its 53rd 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. 15 sorting and preparing the food for delivery on Thursday, Dec. 16, beginning at 12:00 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 hunger 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 St. Vincent de Paul and Lifeworks Oregon. Students 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 non-traditional Food Drive on December 18. 3,000 gift cards will be distributed to families in our community and alumni will deliver to 300 of these families.

"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. As an additional service component this year, we will also be packing hygiene kits to be distributed at the Blanchet House."

If you are interested in donating products and/or packing hygiene kits, please contact the JHS Alumni Office at 503-291-5414 or kbaarts@jesuitportland.org.

About Jesuit High School: Founded in 1956 by the Society of Jesus, Jesuit High School is Oregon's only secondary school in the Ignatian tradition of excellence in education. Our 1,273 students represent a diverse mix of young men and women from the Portland metro area and southwest Washington.

Jesuit High School's mission is to educate "men and women for others." Our graduates are leaders who are religious, loving, intellectually competent, committed to doing justice, and open to growth. Jesuit is the recipient of two U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Awards, a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Award for its sustainability efforts, and 16 OSAA Cup Awards for outstanding achievement in academics, school activities, athletics, and sportsmanship. More information can be found online at
www.jesuitportland.org.