After a last-minute donation of almost 1000 servings, the Dyer-Kelly food drive has been extended until the middle of February. The goal of 2016 servings was surpassed, and the seniors won the Golden Can for bringing in the most donations for the first leg of the drive.

High schoolers exceed food drive goal of 2016 servings by 1000; seniors bring home Golden Can

With the seniors in the lead with 1075.5 servings for the Dyer-Kelly food drive (more than half the total collected), it seemed pretty clear to Patricia Jacobsen, dean of student life, who the winner of the Golden Can would be.

However, on the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 18, sophomore Jake Longoria and his family brought in almost 1000 servings, catapulting the sophomores into the lead.

Because Jacobsen had already announced the seniors as the winners, she had a dilemma.

Who would win the Golden Can, which is awarded to the class with the most servings collected for the food drive?

After a long discussion with Student Council, it was decided the seniors would still win. But a second part to the drive was added, which the sophomore’s late donation will count towards.

Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 18, the three weeks leading up to Winter Break, the food drive was going on. The second part will end right before Winter Ball, in the middle of February.

Dyer-Kelly Elementary School provides children from low-income families  meals and snacks at school, as well as food to take home for weekends and holidays.

The annual drive started by Keele Shaw, ‘09, is now headed by Jacobsen.

The goal this year was to collect 2016 servings, determined by the graduating year of the senior class.

“In the past, we have always met our goal,” Jacobsen said, “but I don’t think we have ever exceeded it by 1000 servings like we did this year.”

Not including the last-minute donation by the Longoria family, the seniors had the most servings with 1075.5, the freshmen second with 462, the juniors with 283, and the sophomores last with 135.  

The donations were originally counted by can, then by item when people donated other food, and now by serving.

“(Student Council) realized counting by item wasn’t fair because if you donate a jar of peanut butter, that will last a family a week or two, whereas one box of mac and cheese is one meal,” Jacobsen said. “So that’s why we started counting it by servings.”

Usually the drive happens right before Thanksgiving Break, but Jacobsen decided to change it this year.

“We have been doing Run to Feed the Hungry for a long time and recently (freshman) Luca Procida started the turkey drive, and I felt like it was an awful lot around Thanksgiving time,” Jacobsen said.

But this year with the schedule change, Jacobsen was worried about not getting enough donations.

“None of it was being stored in my room, so I didn’t see anything coming in,” Jacobsen said. “I think everyone was storing it in the rooms where they were told to drop it, but no one ever told me.

“I also think in previous years the donations were earlier, and this year they were later.”

In previous years, select Dyer-Kelly students have been able to participate in the Holiday Gift Making Fair.

Afterward, there would be a visit from Santa, and the students would be given hot chocolate and presents.

This year, Jacobsen said she wishes to have more interaction between the Dyer-Kelly and Country Day students.

“That human contact is probably more important for both the Country Day kids and the Dyer-Kelly kids than just dropping off carloads of food,” Jacobsen said. “I think we get a lot more when we get to spend time with the kids.

“It’s the human contact, the human connection that’s important.”

—By Allison Zhang

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