Annual food drive supports needy families


Senior Jordan Camacho , Key Club president, helps other Key Club members pack food to be delivered to the Plainfield food pantry.

Paige Williams, Staff Writter

  With Thanksgiving right around the corner, most people will enjoy a nice dinner with family and friends, while others can’t afford food on a regular basis, let alone a holiday.
The food drive has been an annual event going on for over 22 years. Hosted by Key Club the last two years,around 800 food items were collected the week of Nov 4.
The 2019 food drive winner was Jeffrey Purdoms’ 2nd hour class with a total of 300 items and Emily Brodko’s 2nd hour class with the most items per  student, with an average of 8 items.
“All proceeds go directly to the Plainfield food pantry. A lot of families are in need, you could be in class with them or pass them in the hall and never know. Each donation helps,” Darlene Viravec, Key club sponsor, said.
It goes unnoticed most of the time when someone is struggling financially. According to, in Northern Illinois alone, almost 600,000 people rely on food pantries to feed themselves and their family.
Gathering a community together to help the less fortunate is a very impactful event.
“By everyone gathering together to donate food it shows how much impact we as a school can make together to help those in need out.” Melissa Schmidt, Key Club vice-president said.
Students were encouraged to think of those in need during the cold weather and holiday season. All proceeds go to local families and those in need in the community.
“Many of you may not realize that we also do reach and have impact beyond addressing hunger insecurity. We also visit clients when they are in hospitals, rehab centers and nursing homes. We spend time with veterans that can’t get out. We have even done quite a few funeral services for those in our communities,” according to, Plainfield’s local food bank.
The biggest issue they see is  the decrease in the number of donations in recent years. Viravec said that if each person brought one item, the impact it would make in the community would be tremendous.
“The number of donations tend to vary from year to year. Kids have to remember every bit helps when donating,” Dave Stephens, principal, said.
The key club sponsors want kids to be excited and have the drive to want to bring items in. They hope that having a prize at the end will encourage students to bring in items.
“Students tend to feel humble, like they’ve done a good deed after donating,” Stephens said. “It’s great when you can give up yourself to help others. The  world’s bigger than Plainfield Illinois, and students remember that.”