Orion High School was Monday's big winner in the kick-off for the 27th Annual Student Hunger Drive at the River Bend Foodbank in downtown Moline.
Orion won a 2,000-pound headstart from Hy-Vee in the annual food drive that pits students from area high schools against each other for bragging rights and a chance to do something about hunger. Orion's rapping skit put them in a three-way tie with Quad City Christian School and Heritage Christian School before Orion claimed top honors in a "skit-off."
"We're a small community, but we are going to show we've got the stuff to win this," Orion sophomore Sam Mitchell said. Orion junior Emily Hull also predicted Orion will upset perennial student food-drive juggernaut Alleman High School in Rock Island, which has been in first place since 1997.
"They are going down," Ms. Hull said.
That kind of enthusiasm is going to be needed, said Student Hunger Drive executive director Denise Hester.
"Demand is up," she said. "The food bank has experienced cuts from government programs and cuts to the Farm Bill have greatly affected the River Bend Foodbank.
"We are hoping between the kids' drive and our corporate drive we can fill in that gap."
According to information from the food bank, 40 percent of the households receiving food have at least one full-time employed adult. Nearly 40 percent of the recipients are children under the age of 18. About 10,000 individuals receive emergency food assistance in the community every week.
During the last 26 years, the student hunger drive has collected and distributed 14 million pounds of food. Students from 18 area high schools participate -- planning events to promote the drive, organizing their food collection and packaging and delivering all of the collected food to the River Bend Foodbank.
Students will be honored for their efforts at an awards party on Nov. 8.
The food bank serves 22 counties in Iowa and Illinois. Food collected from the Student Hunger Drive will be distributed to 120 different food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care centers and rehabilitation centers.
Today is Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: A new steamer, Keithsburg, now is at our levee taking on board the balance of her fixtures preparatory to assuming her position on the daily Rock Island and Keokuk line. 1889 -- 125 years ago: C.W. Hawes was appointed deputy county clerk by county clerk Donaldson. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. O.E. child, of Moline, was named president of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church Rock Island District of the Central Illinois conference. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Augustana College is making plans for a drive for funds to erect a field house and make football field improvements. 1964 -- 50 years ago: A expanded election coverage system featuring a 16-foot chalkboard showing up to the minute running totals, attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd to The Argus newsroom last night. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Balloons frame Rock Island attorney Stewart Winstein who was given a surprise party in the rotunda of the Rock Island County Courthouse on Thursday to honor his 50th year of practicing law.