Annual food drive begins: HRVHS students begin can-neling their efforts for FISH

HRVHS Associated Student Body officers present prize information to the students during the Nov. 29 assembly. From left are Emily Curtis ASB president; Annalee Anglin, senior class public relations; Katie Perkins, senior class secretary; Adriana Galvez, ASB vice president; Barrett Ihde, ASB public relations officer.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
HRVHS Associated Student Body officers present prize information to the students during the Nov. 29 assembly. From left are Emily Curtis ASB president; Annalee Anglin, senior class public relations; Katie Perkins, senior class secretary; Adriana Galvez, ASB vice president; Barrett Ihde, ASB public relations officer.



Food Bank Details

Hood River food bank hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3:30-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon (541-386-3474, 1130 Tucker Road);

Parkdale food bank hours are Monday, 4-6 p.m. (541-352-3500, 4910 Baseline Drive, Parkdale Community Church)

Cascade Locks hours are the fourth Wednesday of each month, 1:30-3:30 p.m. and the following Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. (541-374-8484, Cascade Lock City Hall)

Cans got scattered before they were collected, as the Hood River Valley High School annual holiday food drive got off to a hectic start in an assembly last week in the gym.

A piercing, a unique shave and a polar dip by faculty members are just some of the incentives announced to students if they meet their 110,000-can goal, with all food and money raised going to the Hood River County FISH Food Bank.

“You have been fierce at volunteering, rallying for cans, getting the whole neighborhood involved in this drive. Thank you, thank you for what you are doing in your community,” said Katrina McAlexander, board member with FISH.

The drive got going with a relay race on the gym floor, involving stacking loads of cans at half-court and then knocking them down, bowling-style.

Activities Director Lindsy Weseman introduced staff members who will take a January dip in the Columbia River if the students hit the 90,000 can mark. Teachers who are putting individual actions on the line: Troy Tactay has agreed to get his ears pierced at 60,000 cans and Jacob Kellert will shave his seven-year beard (with a student-selected design) at 80,000. At 40,000 cans, staff members will dress up as Internet memes. (Hood River News will attempt to gather photos of this phenomenon.)

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Can relay pits quartets of students from the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes.

The food drive is a long-standing tradition at HRVHS. This year’s goal is 110,000 cans and non-perishable food items, to be collected through mid-December. Last year, the students surpassed 100,000. The community should expect to see students collecting food and money at special events, in front of grocery stores, and in other acts of community outreach.

The theme of the drive is “Disney Can-nel.” (Middle school and elementary schools also get into the act this month, with lower-key food drives, all donations to FISH.)

At the assembly, FISH representatives thanked the students by invoking the good work of the past.

McAlexander and FISH Board Chairman Marianne Durkan spoke directly to the students during the assembly, thanking them for what they are about to do.

McAlexander said that since 2007, the student food drives have raised the equivalent of $250,000 for Hood River FISH. The students’ campaign accepts canned and non-perishable food, which count by unit toward the goal. Monetary donations add to the total, in an efficient statewide partnership: For each $1 donated, FISH purchases the equivalent of five cans of food from the Oregon Food Network.

Durkan said that FISH serves 400 families in need, and that the school district food drive amounts to a fourth of the food banks’ total annual supply. FISH has facilities in Parkdale and Cascade Locks, and serves the Odell area, in addition to its headquarters on Tucker Road in Hood River.

Durkan said FISH operates on a simple mission: No one should be hungry.

“You kids are doing a fantastic job. I’ve watched this for 20 years, and every year gets better and better,” Durkan said.

Other food drive incentives to HRVHS students are hot chocolate, cookies and other treats for meeting class can totals starting at 500.

The top four classes at the end of the drive will earn Bette’s Place cinnamon rolls, Voodoo Doughnuts, lunch at local restaurant and an Andrew’s Pizza party.

Additional school prizes are: A half-price dance (25,000); snacks for finals (50,000); laser tag at the Lock-In (70,000) and late start Friday (100,000).



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