Freshman Campus raises money for district food pantry

Challenged by their counselors, freshmen donate 100 items to Food For Thought


Vanessa Perez

A table full of cereal, mac and cheese, and other foods waits in the main office at the Freshman Campus on November 19 at the end of the AIM Challenge food drive for Food For Thought.

Campbell Bitterman, Contributing Writer

During the week of Nov. 15, Freshman Campus counselors JR Bocian and Stephanie Zarinana posed a new AIM challenge to collect non-perishable food for Food For Thought.

AIM Challenges were created with the purpose of making high school more enjoyable for students. It also teaches students important life skills and helps them develop good habits. 

During AIM Challenges, students compete for an award such as donuts or, in the case of the Food For Thought challenge, breakfast pizzas. 

“Well, it’s basically our attempt at trying to make high school more fun,” Bocian says. “I guess, you know, like checking your email and getting kids in the habit of doing things. We’re just trying to have fun with life lessons that are important.”

This month’s challenge is getting students to donate canned goods and boxed food items to give back to the community that isn’t as fortunate. The school will be ending the challenge on Friday and giving the collections of food to Food For Thought.

“We just felt like it raises awareness and allows kids to know that there are resources within our district, and I think that since it’s around Thanksgiving, it’s something to celebrate within the community and I think it’s a good cause,” says Bocian. 

English teacher Ashley Diedrich, is one of the directors for Food For Thought. The organization was created to benefit high school students in the community by giving them free meals, because they may not know where their next meal is coming from. 

“Mchenry High School’s Food For Thought is a food pantry that provides weekend meals for students in need,” Diedrich says.  

Food For Thought was created 5 and a half years ago. Other food pantries and organizations have donated items to the food drive. 

“The Lion’s Club recently provided a financial donation. Key Club, St. Paul’s Church, and the First United Methodist Church, as well as several other individuals from our community, recently donated items,” Diedrich says, “Dawn Bremer, our school board president, runs a yearly food drive, which is taking place Nov. 21.” 

The winner, which was announced in AIM on Monday morning, was social studies teacher, Andrew Stegenga’s class, with 35 items collected. In total, the school collected about 100 items.