Ronald DeRosa

Prep Thanksgiving food drive brings in 19,000 items for local charities

Fairfield Prep's Thanksgiving food drive was once again a rousing success, drawing more donations for local charities in 2018 than ever before.

Even a heavy rain didn't stop these students from loading up the cars
with food items!

The Prep community donated 19,241 items, smashing the 2018 goal of 16,000 items and the 2017 total of 11,500 items. The donations were given to three local charities: Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD), The Church of the Blessed Sacrament food pantry, and Operation Hope.

Because Prep met and exceeded its goal, President Father Tom Simisky, S.J., declared that Feb. 4 — the day after Super Bowl Sunday — a holiday, giving students the day off.

Since 2017, Prep has participated in The Great Ignatian Challenge, a spirited competition with five other Jesuit schools in the New York metro area. The goal is to raise awareness of hunger in our communities while filling local food banks and pantries with tens of thousands of pounds of much-needed provisions for needy families. 

The other participating schools are Fordham Preparatory School (The Bronx); Loyola School (Manhattan); Regis High School (Manhattan), Saint Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, NJ); and Xavier High School (Manhattan). 

Prep's 2018 total amounted to 15,138.86 lbs. of canned goods and nonperishable food items, averaging 18.8 lbs. of food per student.

Here is how Prep compared to the other schools:

Fairfield Prep: 15,138.86 lbs., Fordham Prep: 27,988.34 lbs., Loyola: 16,836 lbs., Regis: 17,339 lbs., St. Peter's Prep: 16,535.5 lbs., and Xavier: 12,485 lbs. 

Total: 106,322.7 lbs

News12 recently profiled the food drive.


About the Great Ignatian Challenge

This is the third year of the Great Ignatian Challenge, and the second year with Prep included. A donor who was inspired by the existing Thanksgiving food drives at each school has pledged up to $250,000 for tuition assistance at the participating schools and has challenged donors from each school to also take part in the Challenge. Intended to further highlight the spirit of giving and generosity among the student bodies at Jesuit high schools in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, the donation will be divided among the schools based on the amount of food collected per student.

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."  These six schools are putting those words into action.
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