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Prep joins in annual 'Great Ignatian Challenge' Thanksgiving food drive

Fairfield Prep is pleased to once again join an expanding list of Jesuit and Catholic high schools in the Great Ignatian Challenge Food Drive to raise awareness of hunger in our communities, while filling local food banks with much-needed provisions this Thanksgiving season.

Prep has set a goal of collecting 20,000 canned and nonperishable foot items from now until the on-site Challenge ends on Nov. 21 (the online Challenge ends on Nov. 24). We are asking each student to donate 20 items

The donated items will be distributed to five area nonprofits: Alliance for Community Empowerment, Blessed Sacrament Parish Food Pantry, Operation Hope, Bridgeport Rescue Mission and Spooner House. 

As an extra push, we have some nice incentives to encourage the Prep Community to participate: 

1.     The winning class will get an ice cream truck.
2.     The winning advisory will get to “pie the Principal”.
3.     When we meet our goal of 20,000 lbs, Mr. Cashman will give us Superbowl Monday off!

Begun in 2016 with Prep joining the following year, the Great Ignatian Challenge enters its 8th year and now encompasses 22 Catholic high schools from twelve states: New York, Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington as well as the District of Columbia.

The 22 schools — including Fairfield Prep — will compete for tiered awards based on criteria identified by Jim Rowen, a generous Fordham Alumnus who has personally supported the Challenge since its inception. The criteria includes the most amount of food collected per student. This year, Mr. Rowen has pledged more than half a million dollars to the Challenge, with the monies going toward supporting financial assistance programs and endowments at the participating schools. 

This year, we are emphasizing in-person donations. Nonperishable items may be left in the Arrupe Hall lobby where you can find a QR code to scan and record your donations.

We know Prep students love a good competition so let's come through and meet our goal! 

The greater Prep Community may donate by bringing goods to school, or by purchasing goods through our donation page 


This year the participating schools are: 

More About the Great Ignatian Challenge

The Great Ignatian Challenge is an annual Thanksgiving food drive competition intended to raise the students’ awareness of hunger and inspire them to take action by working to fill their local food banks, pantries, and community centers with tens of thousands of pounds of much-needed provisions.  Last year, the schools participating in The Great Ignatian Challenge collected and distributed over 512,000 pounds of food. Over the past seven years, The Great Ignatian Challenge has collected and distributed over 1.45 million pounds of food!

Inspired by the commitment to social justice and service to the community that lies at the heart of Jesuit and Catholic education, Mr. Jim Rowen has generously donated more than $2,340,000 towards the Great Ignatian Challenge competitions over the last seven years. His desire is to open this competition up to even more schools next year.  

The majority schools are sponsored by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits); the Challenge derives its name from the 16th-century saint, Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, who taught, "Love consists of sharing what one has and what one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words." This year brings in the Challenge’s first non-Jesuit high school, Archbishop Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, New York.

A key component of a Jesuit and Catholic education is caring for the wider community which allows students to gain first-hand knowledge of local, national, and global issues. Through service to the community, the students prepare for the day when they will participate in their world as competent, concerned, and responsible members who are committed to social justice.

For more information, please visit the participating school websites and look for the Great Ignatian Challenge.

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