For the third straight year, the students of South Brunswick High School collected the highest amount of food donations as part of the annual drive by the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (M.C.F.O.O.D.S).
SBHS collected 10,300 lbs. of food under the leadership of the Student Ambassador's Club, working with teacher Tricia Matos. Student volunteers passed out flyers at local grocery stores and asked shoppers to buy something extra to donate, as they manned the exits to collect donations.
"It's unbelievable and it just shows the generosity of the people in our township and what can be done when the students put their effort into it," said SBHS Activities Coordinator Gina Welsh. "The reason we've been so successful is the fact that we have a lot of students interested in performing some kind of service. So we have them out there doing something, instead of just bringing in a can of food. They feel like they're part of doing something to help others."
In the annual drive, which is overseen by the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, 151 schools participated and collected just under 59 tons of food. SBHS was one of two schools to collect over 8,500 lbs. of food, while three schools collected more than 4,000 lbs.
"Service is one of our core values at the high school, and I think this gets students thinking about others," Welsh said. “It shows them that a simple concept like a food drive can have a big impact. Service doesn't have to be something that's over the top. But you just need to put a little time and effort into a project."
Welsh also praised the local shopping markets for their cooperation year after year in allowing the students to hold the collections in front of their stores. The drive's top food collectors will be recognized at an upcoming meeting of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
"I'm just really thrilled to see that we won three years in a row," Welsh said. "It shows the type of students we have and the type of character education we try to instill in our students."