A Deep Dive Into the OHS Food Drive


Jonathan Castle

A poster for the OHS food drive, located on Main Street.

Alucard Hinchman, Editor

From November 28th to December 9th, 2022, Oakdale High School (OHS) held its fifth annual food drive. The drive aims to support families who cannot afford food, and eradicate hunger across the state.

Erin Porter, a teacher at Oakdale, is the coordinator for the drive. She communicates directly with the Maryland Food Bank, which is a non-profit organization that fights against hunger across the state. Porter describes how she got involved with the drive: “OHS was initially asked to participate as part of the ‘Kids Helping Kids Contest’ for Maryland schools that was sponsored by the MFB. When this contest was discontinued, OHS has continued to sponsor a food drive every year.”

Porter wasn’t the only one associated with the drive, though. Many groups of students were involved behind the scenes such as Porter’s students, the National Honors Art Society, and the girl’s basketball team. Porter mentions many of the ways students supported the drive, “Some students volunteered to make posters and others helped collect the donations from the first block classes that participated in the contest. The girls’ basketball team helped by collecting donations at the admissions table for one of their games.”

What students donate is important. Many types of food are accepted, such as canned soups, applesauce, and raisins. The drive even accepts toothbrushes, something it wasn’t able to get much of this year. It’s important that these items are in good condition, as according to senior Emily Chaconas, “Some people in previous years donated moldy or expired food, which just isn’t helpful at all and not worth the time.”

This year, the drive got slightly less than hoped for with a total of 15 boxes of food in the two week period it was active. The most the drive has ever received was 987 pounds of food within a month, which averages to about 32 pounds per day.

After the food is dropped off, OHS staff members drive it over to the Frederick Rescue Center, which then brings it to the Maryland Food Bank. After the food is delivered, it’s then brought to a warehouse. There are warehouses in Baltimore, Washington, and Wicomico counties. In the warehouses, the food is sorted and stored until it’s ready to be delivered. Once it is ready, the food is given to families through things like outreach programs, soup kitchens, and shelters.

Anyone who wasn’t able to donate won’t have to worry, as the drive will be returning next year. Those who have food now but weren’t able to participate in the drive can still donate directly to the Maryland Food Bank at any time through many different methods.