Insider’s View: The canned food drive -- Students compete to help FISH food bank

As the height of the holiday season is approaching, a fully stocked food bank is needed.

Every year during the winter season, volunteers from all over the valley step up to make sure everyone has access to a supplement of food in their time of need.

Hood River Valley High School, a major contributor to the success of FISH food bank, organizes a school-wide can drive every year. Each sixth-period class competes to collect the most cans, sometimes in very creative ways.

In the HRVHS food drive formula, one dollar is equivalent to five cans. A canned food drive theme is chosen yearly; last year’s was “The Hunger Games,” and this year’s is “Dr. Seuss.”

This year there has been a large competition in “caroling for cans.” Some neighborhoods have been covered multiple times by the musical voices of high school students, while other areas have yet to see musical visitors.

During last year’s holiday season, Mark Steighner’s Chamber Singers also went caroling to collect cans, and ended up being one of the top collectors of the school.

Also in contribution to the canned food drive is “Scenes from The Nutcracker” ballet performance, which is performed by the Columbia Gorge Dance Academy.

This year’s shows are Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Dec. 15 at 2 p.m., at Hood River Middle School auditorium.

Instead of buying a ticket, audience members are requested to bring a can of food. High school-age dancers are given the opportunity to sign up to be in charge of all the cans from one show, which are counted for their sixth-period class. Although it’s a big responsibility, it really adds up cans for a class.

Students will be standing in front of Rosauers in the next couple of weeks collecting canned food or donations to benefit the food drive.

Pre-packaged food donations can also be purchased at Safeway or Rosauers for FISH.

To make a donation to FISH, call 541-386-3471 or visit


Maddy Graham, an HRVHS junior, is an intern at Hood River News.

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