Annual Drive Feeds Families

Sophia Bartolo, Staff Writer

ASB Leadership collaborated with the Contra Costa Food Bank by soliciting canned food and money donations from students in their 4th period class.  The drive was held from December 9 to 19, the 2 weeks preceding the winter break.

Each dollar donated counted for 3 cans. Leadership hoped to raise 65,000 cans. According to an email sent from leadership adviser Dino Petrocco, about 22,400 cans had been collected as of Tuesday, December 16.

The competition has been held on campus since at least 1996. In past years, the school has donated as much as 70,000 cans.

Classes were ranked in a variety of ways.

“The winner is the overall winner of the class with the most cans. Also, there’s the highest student to can ratio so there’s a fair advantage to the smaller classes,” explained leadership student Fiona Stewart. The classes were organized into 4 different brackets based on the teachers’ prior year performance, “so that the brackets are fair.” The brackets, which were listed on posters on the library window, were named, “Legends,” “Champions,” “Heroes,” and “Leaders.” According to Stewart, the winner of each bracket received a baked good.

Local restaurants were asked to donate the pizzas for the contest winners, though according toe Stewart, any expenses not covered by donations would be taken out of the money raised from the drive itself.

Caron Brownlee’s 4th period class raised more than 3,000 cans. “We are very blessed to have the very generous Mary Ashby in our class, who donated a large check, as she does every year. I don’t know if we’re going to win but we are going to feed a lot of families,” said Brownlee.

Stewart explained, “The Contra Costa food bank provides for over 188,000 people each year, that’s 1 in 8 residents in the Contra Costa County. A lot of the people provided are working but they don’t have enough money to provide for medication or pay their rent. They have to decide between food or [medicine and rent].”

According to the Contra Costa and Solano Food Bank’s website,, the food bank’s purpose is to “reduce food waste, feed hungry people and raise public awareness of issues related to food and hunger.”

The food bank has several programs for those who need financial help. The cans donated go to these programs, such as “Farm 2 Kids”, which according to, provides fruits and vegetables to children who need the essential nutrients provided in farm grown foods. Other programs include the senior food program which gives senior citizens free groceries twice a month, and summer food for kids which provides food for students who receive the free lunch program at school.