Popping the Lid Off the Canned Food Drive

It’s that time of year again. Temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling, and students at The Walker School are scrambling to collect cans. Corn, rice, pasta, and any other non-perishables hiding in their pantries are up for grabs and hauled to school in a desperate attempt to reach their grade’s goal. wans

Every year at The Walker School, students in each grade-level compete in the name of the Salvation Army’s Food Drive to win the privilege of wearing sweatpants during midterm-week . As years pass, the can goal-per-grade rises, students struggle more and more to come up with money to meet their goal. Often times, the idea is actually helping people is clouded by something as trivial as sweatpants. By increasing the canned-food goal every year, the Walker Student Service Organization (SSO) successfully turns the Canned-Food Drive into an event about quantity rather than quality.

child with cans

Stacks on stacks of corn and green beans are often what have been found in most recent Canned-Food Drives. Students find the cheapest cans to boost their grade’s can-count without thought of what is actually needed. The Salvation Army is in most desperate need of nutritious and substantial items such as, canned tuna, chicken or salmon, and peanut butter. However, students are being so incentivised by the frenzy of competitiveness, that they tend to forget what the Canned-Food Drive is about: helping people.

Instead of encouraging the helping of others through rewards, The Walker School should be organizing hands-on community service events in school to remind students that their cans are for people, not just for sweatpants.