Gonzaga Prep students feeding more than 2,200 through food drive

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga Prep students held a food drive to help feed those in need in the Spokane area.

On Wednesday, students delivered more than 100,000 pounds of food to over 2,200 people. Students have spent the last 10 days across the city collecting food for the Thanksgiving Food Drive. Food includes a turkey and pie, but they are also filling kitchen cupboards through the holidays.

“I think as we are coming out of covid there’s so much energy, so much hope, so much joy, so much desire to be in the community,” said Elizabeth Slamkowski, Director of Christian services, at Gonzaga Preparatory School.

Slamkowski said the preparations started in early November.

“Students go into the community and do everything they can. They wait outside the grocery store. They go door to door. They ask families and friends for donations. If they get their donations, sometimes they give it to school but oftentimes they go and buy food,” Slamkowski said.

GU Prep is participating in a “friendly competition” with 18 other Jesuit high schools across the country as part of The Great Ignatian Challenge. The goal is to bring good things to the community, and prizes include financial aid money thanks to a donation from Fordham Prep.

GU Prep is the only Jesuit school in the west taking part in The Great Ignatian Challenge.

“We’re excited to show our Jesuit peers how much impact a little school in Spokane can have on the community,” Liz Slamkowski, director of the Office of Service and Justice, said.

The food drive is one of the biggest and long-running ones in the Inland Northwest, taking place for more than 60 years. According to the USDA, one in eight homes with children in the country have troubles getting food on the table.

Here is how many people have been served as a result of the food drive:

  • 754 single individuals
  • 304 families
  • 5 average-sized families
  • 1,520 total individuals in the family serced
  • 14 Catholic Charities-run apartment buildings
  • 15,000 pounds of food to five churches, tribes and food banks
  • 2,274 total people served
  • 100,000 average points of food collected every year since the early 2000s

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