Hungry for more: Breaking records and raising awareness for food insecurity


Gabby Mowbray

Spartan Assembly members show off their banner at the River Bend Foodbank after being awarded 1st place in the 2019 Division A Student Hunger Drive.

Grace Halupnik, Lead Editor

The local Student Hunger Drive ended Thursday night with PV’s third consecutive victory. But the impact left by this annual event long outlasts the thrill of the win. 

On Nov. 14, Spartan Assembly gathered at River Bend Foodbank to weigh the food items they worked tirelessly to collect over the past six weeks. The scale read a record-breaking 65,000 pounds–enough to surpass their goal by 5,000 pounds and crown them as Division A champions.

However, for members of Spartan Assembly, their participation in Student Hunger Drive (SHD) was about more than coming home with a first-place banner. Junior executive Spartan Assembly member Gabby Mowbray was proud to have played a role in providing food for the area. “The experience has shown me how much one can really impact the community,” said Mowbray. “It showed me that if we all come together, we can really make a difference.” 

Indeed, the individuals who came together during this year’s SHD did make a difference in the fight to end hunger. One in six students in the Quad City Area is food insecure, and the contributions from PV’s drive created 130,000 meals for those served by River Bend Foodbank. 

But the wake of PV’s impact did not end there. Their drive also created awareness of food insecurity all throughout the Quad City Area through hosted events and partnerships with various businesses. 

One such partnership was with Hy-Vee grocery store. Students volunteered to work grocery shifts and ask shoppers for donations while educating them on food insecurity. “Working grocery shifts…has really made the community as a whole realize the problem with this ongoing issue,” said Mowbray. She believes this awareness they created “has made the most impact on the Quad City Area.”

Senior Spartan Assembly member Preksha Kedilaya also witnessed firsthand the effect her efforts made on the community. “Throughout the Hunger Drive I have talked to hundreds of the less fortunate who showed me their gratitude for the work I did standing outside in the cold asking for donations. Just hearing their stories inspired me and kept me motivated to raise more,” said Kedilaya.

On a large scale, PV joined 17 districts from the Quad City Area in raising 568,000 meals total for the area. 

And the effects of the Student Hunger Drive positively impacted its participants as well. 

Freshman Spartan Assembly member Gretchen Highberger participated in SHD for the first time this year. “The amount of energy and enthusiasm everyone puts into the Hunger Drive is really inspiring to be around,” commented Highberger. “It was a lot of work, but I never felt like my time wasn’t being well spent.” 

Senior Spartan Assembly executive Aabha Joshi also felt inspired by her involvement in the SHD. “In the future, I hope to continue volunteering time at such organizations and to help those around me who don’t have the same resources I do,” said Joshi. 

Well after the boxes are packed and weighed, the impact of the Student Hunger Drive lingers in the Quad City Area and in the minds of those who contributed.