Feinstein Foundation help 700 schools
nationwide raise $800,000 for anti-hunger agencies
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- June 19, 2003 -- Not only did students at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, Mass. know how to raise money and awareness about hunger this spring, they also followed a basic tenet of their religion--that it is better to give than receivetwice.
The private Catholic high school was named the top-fundraising school in the "Students for a Hunger Free America" campaign, beating out the other 733 elementary, secondary, private and public schools in 49 states and Puerto Rico that participated.
The campaign was a joint effort of the University of Rhode Islands Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America and the Feinstein Foundation, to help end hunger in America. To boost donations, the Feinstein Foundation offered a $1,000 prize to the top 50 schools that raised the most food or money.
Feehans 980 students raised $2,000 and collected 53,918 food items for an estimated value of $28,959 or $29.55 per student. But their generosity didnt stop there. Awarded $1,000 by the Feinstein Foundation, the students, under the guidance of Nancy Miranda and John Clossick, returned the check to the foundation and asked that their prize-winning money be given to the Working Person Food Pantry in Attleboro, which was in need of food.
"The students from Bishop Feehan certainly proved themselves to be excellent fund raisers," said Kathleen Gorman, director of the URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America. "More importantly though I think they embodied the spirit of all of the schools that participated in this campaign. Through their efforts to collect food and money for local agencies, the students learned about the problem of hunger and realized that each one of them could actually make a difference in their own community."
The campaign began last January when the hunger center sent 125,000 letters to schools across the country inviting them to raise food and money for their local soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries. To give every school a chance to win a top prize, the hunger center created a formula based on school population and value of donations. For simplicity sake, each food item was assigned a value of 50 cents.
Four Rhode Island schools placed among the top 50: North Providence High School with 1,028 students collected 1,075 items of food and raised $6,600. The 780 students at Aldrich Junior High School in Warwick collected 6,500 items and raised $220 to earn the schools place among the winners. Gallagher Middle School in Smithfield with 709 students collected 4,721 food items and raised an additional $3,855 to place in the top 50. And finally, the Center for Individual Training and Education in Providence, a school with 17 students from pre-kindergarten through age 21 collected 530 items, which equals $15.59 per student.
Although the A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam, New York didnt place among the top fundraisers, the school and its principal deserve to be acknowledged for creativity. To motivate the students to donate food items, the school ran a "Stuck on Helping" campaign, which awarded a piece of duct tape for each food item donated by a student. The duct tape was used to stick the principal to the wall. Anyone who wants to see how well 842 pieces of duct tape can hold a good natured school principal named Richard Evans should click on the hunger centers website, www.uri.edu/endhunger/events.html.
See the list of the Top 50 schools.