Food Drive Fills Hunger Gap in Dallas


Cans of spaghetti, soup and beans piled high travel from grocery store shelves to cardboard boxes until, free of charge, they finally reach the grumbling stomachs of families who go without sufficient meals for days, even weeks. And Hockaday is taking action.

Beginning on Jan. 19, the entire school will begin to collect food to donate to Hockaday’s annual food drive.

Laura Day, Director of Service Learning, said that for about 25 years Hockaday’s food drive has supplied the Salvation Army with generous contributions of food, feeding families who don’t normally have the luxury of going home to a warm pot of soup on a cold day. Day views this drive as one of the most important because of constant food shortages in the city.

“Food is the number one need in the city of Dallas, and The Salvation Army makes sure it gets to the right people,” Day said.

Nancy Kerley, volunteer supervisor at the Salvation Army Carr P. Collins Social Service Center, said that these donations of food provide the Salvation Army with the supplies to distribute around 1,000 bags of groceries per month costing about $65 a bag.

“Donations of nonperishable food makes a tremendous difference in the lives of those we serve as well as our budget’s needs,” Kerley said.

Head of the Community Service Board, senior Allie Charlton, feels passionate about contributing to help end the wave of hunger sweeping through Dallas streets. Understanding the unfavorable statistics that almost 90 percent of children in the DISD school system rely on only the free meals provided at school, Charlton worries that kids who are not properly fed will not grow and develop at a healthy rate.

“The food drive allows Hockaday to collect food and distribute it to community centers and impoverished families. I think that the food drive is extremely important because it allows the Hockaday community to help alleviate hunger issues in our community,” Charlton said.

Junior Carolina Campbell, Chair of Education on the Community Service Board, has noticed along with Carlton that at many of the schools Hockaday students tutor at, the majority of the kids count on their school’s free breakfasts and lunches because they don’t get to go home to a nutritious, homemade meal for dinner.

“It’s really important from the work that we’re doing, that we do the food drive because all the food goes to the families that we tutor with, which can give them the food and the brainpower they need in school,” Campbell said.

Day also reserves a bundle of food to bring to TR Hoover Community Development Corporation, a center in south Dallas focused on the development of the youth and the community overall. More often than not, the center is forced to turn away members of the community asking for food.

“Once I bring it to them [TR Hoover] they can finally feed people in a neighborhood that is kind of untouched by services so it is really helpful and meaningful,” Day said.

Although the food drive does not fill the growling stomachs of all people in Dallas, Hockaday’s contribution leaves a permanent dent in the lives of many who were provided meals to help them through their battle with constant hunger.  

“The food drive raises awareness throughout Hockaday students of the importance to continuously get involved with organizations devoted to helping with hunger issues. Dallas’s issues with hunger holds a huge place in my heart,” Charlton said.

– Amelia Brown – Asst. Sports and Health Editor –