Menlo-Atherton’s canned food drive, organized by Leadership, has made headlines in the past, and the 2019-2020 drive is no exception. M-A won the Blue Diamond and Community Champion Awards from the Second Harvest Food Bank, placing M-A alongside well-known corporations like Google, Facebook, and Netflix.
Sophomore Annika Kaval said, “Our canned food drive is very large-scale, [but] it will never fail to surprise me that we are on the same scale as companies as large as Google and Microsoft. It feels so amazing that our hard work paid off and that we could help support our community.”
Leadership teacher Micheal Amoroso, who oversaw the canned food drive, said, “While our school has won awards in the past, last year’s drive meant the most to me. Although we did not hit our 300,000 pound goal by the end of December, we initiated a virtual drive that raised enough to shoot us way past the 300,000 pound club.” When asked about what makes the M-A community so special in light of these distinguished awards, he added, “Our student body loves, almost yearns, serving our community. Whether it be through the canned food drive, trick or treat street, book drives, aid to fire victims, custodial appreciation night, the student body here at M-A steps up and makes a difference in the world we live in.”
The Blue Diamond Award is given to groups who exceed a certain amount of cans and donations, while the Community Champion Award honors groups who give the largest contribution. M-A was the only school to receive the latter award in a subcategory for groups exceeding 1,000 participants. Out of the diverse range of recipients for the Blue Diamond Award, M-A was the only high school and one of just two schools given this award.
Junior Riley Goldman said that she’s “honestly not surprised” that M-A received these honors because the M-A community is so “excited and eager to do service work such as canning and distribution day.”
A point system where one pound of food equals one point and one dollar equals 2.5 points calculates donations and determines which organizations are eligible to receive each award.