Editorial: We are all on the same team for next week's food drive

The annual student council food drive begins next week. Hunger is not an issue that one necessarily associates with the Lampeter-Strasburg community, and the competitive overdrive that the food drive often foments tends to mask it even further.

But amidst all the strategizing over how to win the ironic prize -- a hot breakfast graciously sponsored by Darrenkamps -- a key fact hides: over the past ten years, the number of L-S students on free and reduced lunches has nearly doubled, from 11.7% in 2005 to 21.8% last year.

What a staggering figure! To quantify that number, out of approximately 3000 students enrolled in the District, more than 650 receive free or reduced lunches. According to USDA guidelines, to be eligible to receive reduced lunches, a family of four must earn less than $29,101 per year. That is a reality for more than one in five students at L-S.

It’s easy to think that hunger is not a real problem in our community, that food donated next week goes to some faceless people we don’t know and will never meet. The reality is just the opposite; the food that comes in next week will go to the Strasburg Presbyterian Church and Lampeter United Methodist Church food banks, as well as the YMCA, and will help your friends and neighbors, whom you may not even know struggle with food insecurity.

And that’s what a food drive is all about -- neighbors helping neighbors.

So by all means, donate as much as you are able next week. Try to help your homeroom “win”. Without Mr. Cooper to encourage and motivate a homeroom this year, the competition is as wide open as ever.

But remember that the real winners are not the ones who miss a first period class in a few weeks to chow down on a cooked breakfast, rather our friends and neighbors who benefit from an historically generous L-S high school community. 

We are all on the same team.

This opinion piece represents the collective opinion of the LSNews.org editorial board. Its lead author was editor-in-chief Benjamin Pontz. It does not necessarily reflect the position of the Lampeter-Strasburg School District, its administration, or the faculty advisor of LSNews.org. Any questions or concerns can be directed to lspioneernews@gmail.com.

Related: Student Council announces annual homeroom food drive to help local families

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