NJHS food drive to benefit DMS food pantry

Walking into the Duncan Middle School food pantry, about 50  to 75 cans sit on the shelves.

It won’t take long for that food to be gone.

This is why the National Junior Honor Society is sponsoring a food drive. Originally, the food drive was scheduled for late February into early March, but the need of Duncan Middle School has encouraged club sponsors to move ahead with the food drive.

Ava Miller shows what kinds of food goes into the usual Supper Club bag. The National Junior Honor Society is hosting a food drive to help the DMS food pantry. (Sydney Miller)

 “I think it is important for NJHS to help other groups because it is like helping family,” NJHS co-sponsor Derrick Miller said. “Duncan Middle School is filled with a lot of people who are willing to go the extra mile, for one another.”

The food drive is intended to help the Supper Club, which provides students in need with food for the weekends. Last week, the food pantry only had enough food to give four cans and one package or Oreos to every student who came.

Miller said NJHS didn’t have a specific goal to reach, but he said the idea is to help as many students as possible.

“I don’t have a specific goal of how many food items I want, but I do know that back in October our food drive brought in more than 400 cans,” Miller said.

NJHS President Noah McFatridge said the food drive isn’t like many other food drives. While most food drives focus specifically on canned food items (canned fruits and vegetables, canned soup), this one is looking for other items, too, such as Ramen noodles, peanut butter, pasta noodles, tuna, pre-packaged snacks, Pop-Tarts, juice, cereal, beans, rice, bread, fruit cups, sweets, crackers, salted green beans and Vienna sausage.

The food pantry exists to stop student hunger, but we cannot do that, if we do not have enough food.”

— Derrick Miller, NJHS co-sponsor

McFatridge said this food drive isn’t just about helping others; it’s about helping DMS students.

“I think this food drive is very important, because fellow students need food, and I feel that I can help be a part of this,” he said.

 What typically goes in a bag is a can of vegetables, a can of fruit, a can of spaghetti, a can of beans, a juice/water, a bag of chips, pasta, pasta sauce, four or five snacks, fresh produce, peanut butter/jelly, bread, a sleeve of crackers, Pop-Tarts, and popcorn.

Each week, about 20 items go into each bag. About 50 bags are given each week. That means about 1,000 items are needed every week.

Miller said the amount of food in the food pantry isn’t enough to reach all the students in need.

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“Fifty to 75 cans is not a lot, especially when you think about how many students use that pantry each week,” Miller said. “In reality, there are about 50 to 60 kids who use that pantry. One can per kid would not last them long enough to get through the weekend.

“The food pantry exists to stop student hunger, but we cannot do that, if we do not have enough food.”

NJHS officially kicked off its food drive today, and food has already started arriving. Miller said he hopes the food drive gets enough response from students to make a difference.

“I believe that Duncan Middle School sees the need and will rise up to the challenge” Miller said.