Annual canned food drive benefits local community

Annual can drive looks to raise 35,000 cans

%22One+in+six+people+in+the+St.+Louis+area+is+affected+by+poverty+and+struggles+with+food+insecurity%2C%E2%80%9D+Andrew+Gensler%2C+Student+Council+sponsor%2C+said.+%E2%80%9CIf+EHS+has+approximately+1%2C800+students%2C+that+means+300+students+right+here+amongst+us+are+in+need+-+and+we+may+never+even+know+it.%E2%80%9D
Back to Article
Back to Article

Annual canned food drive benefits local community

"One in six people in the St. Louis area is affected by poverty and struggles with food insecurity,” Andrew Gensler, Student Council sponsor, said. “If EHS has approximately 1,800 students, that means 300 students right here amongst us are in need - and we may never even know it.”

Grace Walton

"One in six people in the St. Louis area is affected by poverty and struggles with food insecurity,” Andrew Gensler, Student Council sponsor, said. “If EHS has approximately 1,800 students, that means 300 students right here amongst us are in need - and we may never even know it.”

Grace Walton

Grace Walton

"One in six people in the St. Louis area is affected by poverty and struggles with food insecurity,” Andrew Gensler, Student Council sponsor, said. “If EHS has approximately 1,800 students, that means 300 students right here amongst us are in need - and we may never even know it.”

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






With the holidays just around the corner, Eureka’s annual canned food drive has officially commenced. The drive lasts for two weeks and takes on a competition style, with each grade level competing to see who can bring in the most cans.  

Eureka’s canned food drive gives to three different organizations; the Eureka Food Pantry, Circle of Concern, and Adopt-a-Family. In the 24 years that Eureka has kept records for the drive, 742,561 items have been donated. The donations have worked to fight the food insecurity issue in St. Louis.

“The generous donations to our drive from students, their families, staff and community members has allowed us to give back and help those in need. One in six people in the St. Louis area is affected by poverty and struggles with food insecurity,” Andrew Gensler, Student Council sponsor, said. “If EHS has approximately 1,800 students, that means 300 students right here amongst us are in need – and we may never even know it.”

One of the organizations that receive the donations, Adopt-a-Family, gives the donations directly to students at Eureka and their families. Each family gets a box of dry food and a box of canned food, which helps get them through the holiday season. 

“A lot of the families I know express extraordinary gratitude,” Naomi Warren, social worker, said. “It really makes a big difference to be able to feed their families and have happy holidays. They just feel really appreciative that it’s something Eureka supports them with.” 

While the canned food drive works on a smaller scale within Eureka, there is also a great community outreach when working with Eureka’s other partners, the Eureka Food Pantry and Circle of Concern. These food pantries require a massive influx of food during the holiday season, which EHS works to provide them with. 

“Eureka is the best,” Juliet Holden, Director of Communications at Circle of Concern, said. “In the course of the year, there are several big food drives that happen throughout the year and on the calendar, one of the first we always put in is Eureka’s. Eureka is at the top of that list.” 

With the outreach of the drive, families in the St. Louis area are able to support themselves and their families during the holidays, as well as getting other benefits like Thanksgiving baskets or baking baskets that work to give the family a holiday they can enjoy. 

“Families come already grateful, but when they see the other stuff they get for the holidays, there’s a contentment there,” Holden said. “When we’re able to provide an additional influx of food for the holidays, for some of our families, that’s the most holiday they have felt in a long time.”

Students are able to help by bringing in any canned or boxed item, but there are other items that are critical for food pantries around this time. These items include canned pasta, jelly, peanut butter, dry potato/bean/rice dinners, pasta, pasta sauce and soups. tems specialized for the holidays include boxed and bagged stuffing, canned fruit, canned pumpkin, canned gravy, turkey or chicken broth, canned milk, baking supplies like flour and sugar and vegetable oil.

While class competitions and striving to break school records can make the drive fun and light-hearted for students, the effects the drive creates within the community doesn’t go unnoticed. 

“It’s hard coming to a food pantry,” Holden said. “It’s hard to take that deep breath and admit that they can’t support themselves or their kids on their own, it’s tough to come here. But our clients know that when they come in and find exactly what their family likes, that it’s because of you guys. Please know how grateful we are, and not just us, but our clients as well.” 

Students can create this outreach by doing what they can, whether it’s bringing in an entire case of cans or just one or two. 

“I would like for every person to realize the value and importance of giving back to others,” Gensler said.  “Although not everyone is in a position to donate, everyone can do something to help other people. By donating time and energy, together we can create a chain reaction of goodness going out into the world and we never know where those effects will end.  But it all starts with each person doing whatever he or she can.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email