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 Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.