Competition nets nearly 1,000 pounds for food bank

Jacob Pruitt, Opinion editor

People shopping in the Price Chopper on 151st Street and Metcalf Avenue looked upon the students crowded the front of the store on Tuesday, March 22.

The students stood in a semi-circle arranged around a speaker.

Each had a shopping cart.

Students stood in groups according to grade, planning how to spend their $250.

The speaker released them into the store, telling each group to stay out of the other shoppers’ way.

The juniors and seniors immediately began grabbing cheap, non-perishable food items to fill their carts.

All groups planned to win the class competition for their grade.

The freshmen and sophomores slowly made their way down aisles after the juniors and seniors, picking through what was left.

Senior Samantha Nichols, a Harvesters youth ambassador, organized the Supermarket Sweep.

BV won a $1,000 prize in Harvester’s regional food drive last year for donating the most food to the food bank.

Nichols planned Supermarket Sweep this year after being inspired by the classic game show of the same name.

Instead of using the prize money around school, Nichols came up with the idea to use that $1,000 for this year’s food drive.

“I am really excited to put last year’s money to good use so we can benefit the entire community,” Nichols said.

Nichols’ Project Hunger club organized the event.

“This is only the second year for Project Hunger,” supervisor Britt Qualls said. “But Sam and Lauren Kats, the other ambassador, are graduating. So if there are any underclassmen interested in continuing Project Hunger, they should come by and see me.”

The juniors bought the most food while staying under the $250 limit within 20 minutes and won the competition.

Supermarket Sweep raised nearly 1,000 pounds of food from the 980 items the students purchased.

“I thought it was awesome,” Qualls said. “It was very creative, very successful.”

Qualls said Supermarket Sweep experienced some set backs because of snow days and Spring Break.

“I wish we would have done a school-wide food drive,” Qualls said.

Nichols said Supermarket Sweep will provide food for Harvesters in a season many Kansas Citians forget to donate.

“During the holidays, Harvesters is swamped with volunteers, because everyone is kind of in the mood of giving,” Nichols said. “But it’s these months that people don’t always think about Harvesters. So this is really good timing for us to raise a lot of food, not only because people aren’t thinking about it, but because a lot of kids who receive food from Harvesters get free or reduced priced lunches at their school. When the school year is over, they don’t have that any more, and they’ll go hungry during the day, so we can provide them with food for the summer.”

Nichols said she believes the event was a success.

“Everyone had fun,” she said. “We collected a lot of food, and I hope it can become a tradition.”

Nichols said she believes it is a responsibility to help those in need.

“I think that when people are in need and when you have an ability or resources that can be used to help these individuals, you should,” she said.