Oak Ridge students spent last week spreading the message that people in our own community do, indeed, need help getting food on a daily basis. At halftime during Friday night’s football game against the Rocklin Thunder, the students’ three-day efforts in partnership with Rolling Hills Christian Church paid off when they presented a check for more than $1,400 to the Food Bank of El Dorado County.
The Food Bank provides food assistance to thousands of families and individuals in El Dorado County who can’t afford to meet their basic nutritional needs. Their single food distribution site in El Dorado Hills is at Rolling Hills Church two Tuesdays a month. “We have a distribution list a mile long,” said Teresa Kelly of her outreach efforts with Rolling Hills Church. “These are economic hard times. And events like these let people know it.”
That was what struck Oak Ridge students as what they took most from the awareness campaign.“It’s nice to raise awareness about hunger,” said Oak Ridge leadership student Alia Cook, 15. “But it surprised me that in El Dorado Hills there are people who need a food bank to eat. You’d think everyone would be privileged here, but they’re not.
Alia is one of many Oak Ridge students who spread that message beginning on Wednesday when leadership students, football players and cheerleaders wore “Tackle Hunger” t-shirts at lunch to kick-off the campaign. Classes competed in a mini-football throw fundraiser. For every mini-football tossed into a bin with a set dollar amount, local businesses Class A Painting, Pro Lawn Maintenance and OnCore Consulting pledged those dollar amounts. In speed-fire, 60-second rounds, the sophomores earned bragging rights and the most money. Principal Paul Burke and leaders from Rolling Hills Church and the Food Bank were on hand for the action. In all, $283 towards the weekly grand total was earned during lunch alone. The 300 mini-footballs were later sold for $3 a piece.
Leadership student Chelsea May said her tactic was just to flat out ask her peers for money. “One girl just gave me $20,” she said. “I know it’s hard for teenagers to remember fundraisers and stuff, but everyone’s been really great.”
The Food Bank’s food mobile was on campus for monetary and canned good drop-offs, concluding at Friday’s game.
“Oak Ridge has committed students and staff that truly care about our neighbors that struggle daily to make ends meet,” said executive director of the El Dorado County Food Bank, Mike Sproull. “And Rolling Hills Christian Church has also been key in helping organize the event … Just a whole bunch of good folks committed to our at- risk population in communities throughout El Dorado County.
In his first year as principal, Paul Burke was proud to support the campaign. “It’s great to see our Oak Ridge students come together to raise awareness about hunger in our county and to support the fantastic efforts of the Food Bank,” he said, giving personal credit to community outreach leadership students Nick Bennett, Alia Cook and Chelsea May.
At Friday night’s game the Food Bank of El Dorado County held a moment of silence and asked that everyone take out their mobile devices and “Like” the Food Bank on Facebook at “FoodBankEDC.” They’d like to expand their Facebook following to 10,000 community members.
“Our community is strong! Let’s work together and make a difference in the lives of local children, senior citizens and families that struggle to put healthy food on the table,” said Sproull.
Visit foodbankedc.org to see how you can help today.