Annual Canned Food Drive to begin Nov. 3

25,000 can goal to support Circle of Concern, Got Your Back Pack program


Morgan Vehige

Lafayette’s annual Canned Food Drive will begin this year on Nov. 3 and go until Dec. 1. Items being collected will be donated to local food pantry, Circle of Concern, and Rockwood’s Got Your Back Pack program.

Morgan Vehige

“If it was not for the entire school and community doing this, we wouldn’t be able to collect as many cans to reach our big goals,” Assistant Principal Kirti Mehrotra said.

Lafayette’s annual Canned Food Drive will begin this year on Nov. 3 and will go until Dec. 1. The a school-wide goal for the year is to receive a total of 25,000 cans from students and staff.

Mehrotra has been in charge of the drive since she became an administrator in the mid-2000s and has seen the range of cans that have been collected over the past years.

“Sometimes we can get 3,000 cans and sometimes we can get 30,000 cans. We were able to involve grocery stores and the entire community,” Mehrotra said.

The cans collected typically go to a local food pantry, Circle of Concern, located in Valley Park. In more recent years, a part of the collection has also been going to Rockwood’s Got Your Back Pack program in order to better aid families within the district.

Due to the pandemic, receiving collections has been more difficult. However, more ways to donate have appeared, including Amazon donations where students can order cans or other items through Amazon and have them delivered to Circle of Concern or Lafayette. The typical methods of trick-or-treating for cans or purchasing them from stores are also heavily encouraged.

“They really rely on us to do this collection. We typically give it to them in the first week of December, so their shelves are empty until Thanksgiving and this helps carry them to the holidays and to January. Last year, we still did a good job taking in during the pandemic,” Mehrotra said.

In order to create a bit of friendly competition and to help with the donations, students will be turning in their cans to their homeroom. Whichever room collects the most cans by the end of the Canned Food Drive will win a pizza party.

Many Lafayette groups, such as Student Council, Key Club, National Honors Society and other organizations have helped to organize the drive and collect more cans. One such group is the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

Senior Anderson Gauvreau has been with ROTC since his freshman year. Not only does the program mean so much to him for the community that surrounds him, but he’s happy to be a part of a community that gives back to those in need.

“[ROTC has] meant a lot, it’s a big part of what I do here at school,” Gauvreau said. “It’s a big thing to be able to help everybody. It’s such a group effort that everyone who has even a little part can make a big impact.”

Not only does ROTC aid in the collection, but with the help of P.E classes, they are able to transport the materials.

“I’ve brought in a few cans but most of the time I’ve been the one collecting the cans from the other classrooms and bringing them down. That’s been a big thing that ROTC does,” Gauvreau said. “Once we collect the cans from all the classrooms, we bring them to the ROTC room. About a day later, we pack them up and drive them over to a facility and unload them there.”

Mehrotra believes the Canned Food Drive is a very beneficial in helping students grow character within the Lafayette community. She hopes the community is able to meet the goal of 25,000 cans.

“I think that’s a character trait you have and we want to instill that value of giving back in our students,” Mehrotra said. “The community has always done so much for us so if we can give back to the community in which we live, that becomes a part of their life. It’s not just a one-time thing. Our society can benefit from those citizens who go from high school to the real world. It’s an all around effort.”