The Student News Site of Granite Falls High School

Tiger Tribune

Tiger Tribune

The Student News Site of Granite Falls High School

Tiger Tribune

    Fighting Hunger, Granite Style

    Using money from donations, Granite Falls Students & Staff shop for local families in need.

    At the Granite Falls High School Food Drive assemblies, there is the usual glitz and glam of pie eating contests, wrapping paper, and trophies. There is also a collectively awkward – but compassionate – stretch of time where we watch a video from the previous years’ Food Drive successes, complete with emotional music in the background and a man in a Santa costume telling us how fortunate we all are. 

    Everyone already knows this, of course. We are about to start the cycle of collecting, packaging and delivering food for our fellow community members, and it is very possible that we may be feeding the people sitting next to us. The hard truth is that the food that gets collected is a necessity for so many of those in the community. We may not know who they are, but we do know there were 184 families that were taken in by the Granite Falls School District Food Drive this past November. 

    We start off this yearly tradition with upwards of 30 students and a handful of teachers working to coordinate the chaos. But it doesn’t stop with just them. Every single class gets involved, whether that means collecting both food from home or standing outside local grocery stores for hours on end to collect donations. Later on, students file out of classrooms over the course of several days, taking all 180,000 of the food and household items to sort into the mountain of boxes stacked in the Granite Falls High School commons. From there, those same boxes of food are delivered, some in cars with ‘student parking’ permits in the windows, to homes in need throughout our community. 

    Elsewhere, in the lobby of both Granite Falls Middle School and Granite Falls High School, sits Christmas trees, adorned with paper tags representing one of the 380 kids that were given gifts for this Christmas. Students and staff eagerly take these tags and find gifts for our community’s kids. Adding to that, our theater students put on a rendition of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” asking only for a donation of five dollars, or five canned food items upon entry. The GFHS Christmas production is typically a major hit, as evidenced by the money it helps raise. All together, these contributions total up to almost $27,200. These donations all go towards making sure that no one in our district goes without on Christmas morning. As touching as this is, it this isn’t the end of the school’s mission to help the community in Granite. 

    Thanks to the endless support of the Student Support Advocates (SSA), our students have a growing chance to change their lives. With our local GFHS advocate, Susan Graham, leading the way, SSA offers resources to help get the necessities like clothing, food, toiletries, identifying documents, and transportation for our students. SSA, as well as a long list of other programs and organizations, help those less fortunate within the community to get back on their feet. 

    Another notable help to local families is the the free and reduced lunch program. Every week before school starts, the district sends out a form to qualify students to participate. Whether or not you’re eligible depends on how many people are in your family and your yearly income. For instance, since the median number of people per household is three, their yearly income to qualify would be about $41,000 per year. With that in mind, one of our elementary schools, Monte Cristo, reported that 40% of their kids were on free or reduced lunch programs. That is a large portion of the upcoming classes. The good work our community is doing now will help the future generations of Granite Falls have the ability to be more financially stable.

    With all the good that’s being done, it is really heart-wrenching to see the numbers of families in need stay the same or go up every year. With these serious problems plaguing our small little town, it is a continuous fight by so many to keep our community functioning. However, with that, there is hope that what we are doing for our home right now will still be successful in making our hidden corner of the world a brighter place.

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    Chloe Parker, Op-Ed Editor/Public Relations
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