For the fifth consecutive year, Broken Arrow (OK) Public Schools held a district-wide food drive to fight hunger in their community. From March 20-24, students, parents, teachers, administrators, and local residents were asked to bring donations of non-perishable food to any of the district's six schools.
Broken Arrow Public Schools were determined to bring in more than the 11,350 pounds of food they collected in 2016. Not only did they reach that goal, they absolutely crushed it! Nearly 12,900 pounds of food was donated -- that's the equivalent of 10,750 meals!
All of the food was delivered to Broken Arrow Neighbors, which provides basic needs emergency assistance to more than 11,000 financially disadvantaged people in the area, by our friends at Accent Moving & Storage.
"Our goal is to meet the needs of individuals who find themselves in compromised situations," said Kim Goddard, Executive Director of Broken Arrow Neighbors. "It’s not unusual to serve approximately 100 families each week. Basically, we focus on making sure that our food pantry has all of the necessary food items for families to have breakfast lunch and dinner."
If all this food drive did was teach children the importance of giving back to their community, we would consider it a success. But, as Goddard noted, the size of the donation that the schools make every year is critical to the food pantry.
"We start to see a decrease in that giving usually around February and the middle of March," Goddard said. "That is why the Move For Hunger/Broken Arrow School District food drive is so very important to us. We count on this food drive not only to move us through the months of March April, May, and June but sometimes to carry us even through when school begins again in August and September."
Much of the credit for the success of the food drive goes to Candy Lievsay, a teacher at Sequoyah Middle School, who reached out to us with the idea five years ago.
"In 2012 my students and I read an article about a guy in New Jersey whose family owned a moving company," Lievsay said. "We did a food drive with them in 2012 and got around 3,500 cans of food. I thought, if one school could do that, what could Move For Hunger do if we held a district-wide food drive?"
The answer is, a lot! Since 2013, Broken Arrow Public Schools have collected more than 70,000 pounds of food -- enough to provide more than 58,000 meals to their neighbors in need.
"I’m very grateful that I’ve been supported the entire time with this," Lievsay said. "I’ve been able to show the kids that one person can make a difference, but people working together can make a huge difference. I’m very proud and honored of everything we’ve accomplished.”
"Every year the students at Broken Arrow Public Schools find a way to amaze me," said Move For Hunger's Executive Director, Adam Lowy. "The passion and enthusiasm they show for helping their community is contagious, and is an example we share with other young people looking to make a difference."
Want to give back to your community? Host your own food drive.