Bears’ Favorite Canned Food Drive Memories

1 min read

People often claim that M-A is lacking in spirit, often citing the low participation and involvement in activities such as spirit week or pep rallies. But, when it comes to the annual Canned Food Drive (CFD), M-A goes above and beyond, being one of the largest food drives operated by a public high school in the U.S. Students and staff compete to collect the most food by grade, class, and clubs, by canning–––standing outside of grocery stores and asking community members to donate canned goods. Trying to buy groceries in November through December without running into M-A students canning is practically impossible. From distributing the cans to creating fun traditions, students share some of their most memorable moments for students during the CFD. 

On Distribution Day (D-Day), students distribute the collected cans and bags of food to community members at Ecumenical Hunger in East Palo Alto. Junior Zoe Fong, who has been a participant in the CFD for three years, noted the D-Day of her sophomore year as her favorite memory. “Last year was really crazy because it rained the whole time. We were all freezing and wet, but every single person had a smile on their face because we were seeing the efforts of the drive finally being fulfilled, which transcended whatever obstacles we faced that day,”  Fong said.

Sophomores Siboney Lynch and Grant Maletis always create fun dance routines while waiting for people to approach the store. “Creating the dances attracts people because of our energy and enthusiasm, and is also fun for us because standing at the door of a store for hours can become very tiresome,” Lynch said.

For many, the interactions they have with others can be the best part of canning. Senior Jace Furman said “One time, I was canning outside of Delucchi’s, and there was this really sweet old lady who, at first, wasn’t planning on donating, but at some point, she came back from her car to hand me some money because she said she just couldn’t resist. I just felt that was really wholesome.”

AVP Jessica Magallanes, who went canning for the first time this year, highlighted the way the CFD can bring the community together. She said, “I was in [Ellen] Jacobson’s room when it was introduced, and she is super competitive. I wanted to be a part of that energy, so we went canning and spent the night just getting to know each other and talking to people about the CFD. It was great because so many people wanted to donate.”

Whether you are intent on winning the CFD or have never heard of it before, there is always room to contribute and make memories for years to come.

Becca is a sophomore at M-A in her first year of journalism. She enjoys writing about events impacting the M-A community and hopes to write more pop-culture based articles and opinion pieces. In her free time, she enjoys baking and spending time with friends.

Latest from Blog