Hunger Games food drive brings holiday spirit

Many familiar with the book series by the same name may have some confusion how a food drive and the books can be related, but Langdon Area Schools found an ingenious way to connect the two.  Tis the season to think of others and students brought their A-game.

Posted 12/13/18

By Melissa Anderson

“Every year we do a food drive through our community relations team at the elementary school,” Jayla Askvig, the technology coordinator for the schools, said. “This year when we were brainstorming how we were going to do it, it was brought up that FCCLA also does a food drive. We decided to see if they would work with us.”

Askvig met with Amy Kram, the advisor for FCCLA, to see what worked for them in the past. Kram mentioned doing a point system when bringing in food as a great motivator for students to participate.

“I got a hold of a couple of people from the food pantry and asked them what they needed the most. Each of those items were listed as 5 or 10 point items,” Askvig shared.

Brianna Bakke took the leadership role on the FCCLA side as she felt it was a good opportunity to get more involved in the community. Bakke already had experience working with the food pantry and felt it would be helpful in this endeavor.

“I wanted to show the new FCCLA members what the organization is all about, and I felt that a food drive would be very helpful in exemplifying the community aspect of it,” Bakke explained.

Bakke had been working on the FCCLA high school food drive when Kram approached her about joining with the elementary school for a hunger games-themed food drive.

“I thought it was a great idea because a competition always encourages people to participate more,” Bakke said.

The concept of the Hunger Games food drive was this: classrooms were divided up into “districts,” just like the Hunger Games book. Students K-12 would get points for food items coming in; items that were needed by the pantry were worth 5 or 10 points and anything else was worth 1 point. One classroom from each district won by having the most points.

Winners for each district were:

District 1: Mrs. Zeis’s Kindergarten

District 2: Mrs. Lafrenz’s 2nd Grade

District 3: 10th Graders

District 4: 12th Grader

At the beginning of the food drive, the organizers did not have a set number or goal for the drive to achieve, but that all changed when Thrivent Financial became involved.

“Rachelle Fetsch and Sarah Overby from Thrivent Financial informed us that if we received 500 items, Thrivent Financial would donate $500 to the food pantry,” Askvig shared.  “I knew by the second day that we would have no problem meeting that in just the elementary school; we were well over 200 items at that point.”

To encourage participation at the high school, Bakke and other FCCLA members put up posters around the school and emphasized where the food was to be dropped off and what would be done with the food once it was collected.

“After I totaled up the points each day, I would write the results on the board in the study hall so everyone could see where their class was at,” Bakke shared.

The grades challenged each other at the high school level by battling it out.  The games had the seventh, ninth, and twelfth grades competing against each other and the eighth, tenth, and eleventh grades competing against each other.

The high school collected 436 items in total. In the end, the school as a whole collected over 1,400 items K-12.

“We are so proud of our students and families,” Askvig stated.