With hunger in the community a constant presence, Huntington High School student government members are looking to close-out their Stuff the Bus annual food drive with a record collection of items.
The drive is known as Stuff the Bus because after the last item has been collected, students “stuff” an entire large school bus with the packages and then deliver the goods to local food pantries throughout the town. Huntington Coach Corp. donates a bus and covers the services of a driver on a Saturday morning.
Student government members were out in full force last weekend, collecting items as shoppers departed Stop and Shop on Wall Street in the village. The teenagers will be outside King Kullen on New York Avenue on Saturday (March 16) and then will return to Stop and Shop on Saturday, March 30. This year’s drive will conclude on April 13.
“I will be collecting any additional donations in my classroom or in the drop-box behind the security desk at the main entrance of Huntington High School,” said teacher David Moriarty, who along with fellow faculty member Danielle Raguzin serves as the student government’s advisor.
Even in affluent communities, hunger never takes a break. Huntington has its fair share of hungry folks of all ages. Local food banks are busy and their shelves are often empty.
According to DoSomething.org:
- One in six people in America face hunger.
- The USDA defines “food insecurity” as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members. In 2011, households with children reported a significantly higher food insecurity rate than households without children: 20.6 percent vs. 12.2 percent.
- Food insecurity exists in every county in America. In 2013, 17.5 million households were food insecure. More and more people are relying on food banks and pantries.
- 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.
- In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.
- More than one in five children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, it’s one in three.
- Over 20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch each school day. Less than half of them get breakfast and only 10 percent have access to summer meal sites.
- One in seven people are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nearly half of them are children.
- Forty percent of food is thrown out in the US every year or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.