Maryland Food Bank, State Department of Education
|For Immediate Release||May 31, 2012|
Honor Students Dedicated to Ending Hunger in Maryland
BALTIMORE — Schools that collected the most food and funds in the fall Kids Helping Kids Food & Funds Drive were honored this morning at a ceremony at the Maryland Food Bank. Held every fall at schools across the state, Kids Helping Kids offers students an opportunity to collect food and funds for the hungry, while earning service learning hours needed for graduation. Students are supported by dedicated parents, administrators and teachers in their efforts and many schools incorporate hunger-related lesson plans during the campaign. The 515 schools that participated in this year’s campaign collected 462,497 pounds of food and $120,814 for the Maryland Food Bank and local pantries throughout the state.
The event was kicked off by Maryland Food Bank Communications Manager, Kate Sam, who emphasized the impact that this food and funds drive will have for the food bank and their clients. More than 460,000 people in the Maryland Food Bank’s service area are food insecure, uncertain of where their next meal is coming from. Fully 45 percent of those who are food insecure live above 200 percent of the federal poverty line ($46,100 for a family of four) and do not qualify for government food assistance programs like Free and Reduced Price Meals, WIC or SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). This, said Sam, is where the Maryland Food Bank and their partners come in. The Maryland Food Bank distributed 23.1 million pounds of food last year to 600 soup kitchens, pantries, shelters and other community organizations across the state. Unfortunately, according to a recent study by the national network of food banks, Feeding America, another 103 million pounds of food are needed to meet the nutritional needs of the 460,000 who are food insecure in the Maryland Food Bank’s service area.
Food and funds drives like Kids Helping Kids are critical to closing the hunger gap. Beyond the food and funds collected, Kids Helping Kids prepares students to be hunger advocates early on. Many students who participate in the campaign in elementary school go on to lead it in middle school and high school. This is especially true in Anne Arundel County where Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Maxwell, has mandated 100 percent participation.
The ceremony continued with a rousing speech from Harvest for the Hungry founder, Larry Adam, who was integral in developing the Kids Helping Kids program. Harvest for the Hungry, founded 25 years ago, is a year-round volunteer effort to collect food and funds for local food banks. In its 25-year history, Harvest for the Hungry has collected more than 31 million pounds of food. Mr. Adam reminded everyone that this year’s success was not a fluke. In each of the past five years, more than 500 schools have participated, collecting more than 450,000 pounds of food each year. Mr. Adam implored teachers and administrators in attendance to continue pushing students to grow the program even further.
Dr. Monique Davis, Regional Assistant Superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools spoke on behalf of Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Maxwell, who was unable to attend. Dr. Davis expressed extreme pride in the 100 percent participation that Anne Arundel County schools have achieved each year. She said that Kids Helping Kids is part of Anne Arundel County Schools’ culture and it is a pleasure to see students carry forth the tradition as they enter each new phase of their life.
The speaking portion of the ceremony came to a close with a commendation from Dr. Darla Strouse, Executive Director, Office of Partnership Development & Recognition for the Maryland State Department of Education. Dr. Strouse noted that several of the schools that collected the most food and funds were also Blue Ribbon schools and drew parallels between service learning and educational excellence. Maryland remains the only state in the country with a service learning requirement. Only a handful of other states coordinate statewide food drives in public schools. The Kids Helping Kids Food Drive is the largest statewide school food drive in the country.
Winning schools were presented with certificates of accomplishment from the Maryland State Department of Education and will also receive $300 - $1,000 worth of new library books as a reward, thanks to program sponsorships from Bank of America, the Clarisse Mechanic Foundation, Morgan Stanley and Safeway. Following the program, school representatives were led on tours of the Maryland Food Bank. Many commented that information gleaned from the tours will be extremely helpful as they work to plan for next years’ drive, scheduled for October 15 – November 2, 2012.
Top 5 Schools – Pounds of Food
Top 5 Schools – Monetary Donations
|South River High School (Anne Arundel County)||13,719 pounds|
|Cora L. Rice Elementary School (Prince George’s County) ||12,157 pounds|
|Marriotts Ridge High School (Howard County) ||7,025 pounds|
|Lindale Middle School (Anne Arundel County)||6,677 pounds|
|Cockeysville Middle School (Baltimore County) ||6,592 pounds|
Top Schools By County
|South River High School (Anne Arundel County)||$46,352.74|
|Davidsonville Elementary School (Anne Arundel County) ||$13,545|
|Leonardtown High School (St. Mary’s County)|| $8,792.65|
|Central Elementary School (Anne Arundel County)||$6,113|
|Crofton Middle School (Anne Arundel County)||$5,181.32|
|Allegany || Washington Middle School||1,470 pounds|
|Anne Arundel || South River High School||13,719 pounds|
|Baltimore City || Thomas Jefferson Elementary School ||1,092 pounds|
|Baltimore|| Cockeysville Middle School||6,592 pounds|
|Caroline || Preston Elementary School ||2,675 pounds|
|Carroll|| Shiloh Elementary School||2,300 pounds|
|Cecil || Holly Hall Elementary School ||2,000 pounds|
|Charles||Mary B. Neal Elementary School||4,167 pounds|
|Dorchester||Sandy Hill Elementary School||1,201 pounds|
|Frederick|| Tuscarora High School||2,460 pounds|
|Garrett|| Swan Meadow||1,740 pounds|
|Harford||Youth’s Benefit Elementary School||4,210 pounds|
|Howard||Mariotts Ridge High School||7,025 pounds|
|Kent ||Worton Elementary School||800 pounds|
|Montgomery||Winston Churchill High School||5,415 pounds|
|Prince George’s||Cora L. Rice Elementary School||12,157 pounds|
|Queen Anne’s||Matapeake Elementary School ||5,000 pounds|
|Somerset ||Princess Anne Elementary School||832 pounds|
|St. Mary’s||Great Mills High School ||2,358 pounds|
|Talbot||Easton High School ||867 pounds|
|Washington||Maugansville Elementary School ||1,944 pounds|
|Wicomico||East Salisbury Elementary School ||1,360 pounds|
|Worcester||Stephen Decatur Middle School ||4,311pounds|
|Fifth-grader Evan Mullaney of Youth’s Benefit Elementary School poses with Larry Adam, Founder of Harvest for the Hungry; Darla Strouse, Executive Director of Partnerships & Recognition for Maryland State Department of Education; and Brooke Hodges, Senior Vice President of Bank of America. Youth’s Benefit Elementary School collected 4,210 pounds of food – the most of any school in Harford County.|
|Anne Arundel County’s South River High School won Most Pounds Collected and Most Funds Collected Statewide for the third straight year! Left to right: Larry Adam, Founder of Harvest for the Hungry; Dr. Monique Davis, Regional Assistant Superintendent, Anne Arundel County Schools; Darla Strouse, Executive Director of Partnerships & Recognition, Maryland State Department of Education; Amelia Williams, Student; Kelly Yambor, Student; Wes Baker, Teacher & Service Learning Teacher Fellow; Brooke Hodges, Senior Vice President, Bank of America; Will Myers, Principal, South River High School.|
|Larry Adam, Founder of Harvest for the Hungry, implored students, teachers and administrators to build on the success of this year and aim even higher during next year’s campaign. Left to right: Kate Sam, Communications Manager, Maryland Food Bank; Larry Adam, Founder, Harvest for the Hungry.|