Home Local schools collect more than 100K pounds for Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
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Local schools collect more than 100K pounds for Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

Rebecca Barnabi
food insecurity
(© Elena Shi – stock.adobe.com)

The 2024 School Food Drive, a testament to local students’ dedication and hard work, has propelled the total food collected for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to the more than 100,000-pound mark.

Since 2011, a total of 101,909 pounds of food, or 84,925 meals, have been collected for community members experiencing hunger through the annual drive. In 2024, students from 20 local schools and two organizations across the Blue Ridge gathered 6,531 pounds of food, making a difference by helping provide 5,442 meals.

“The commitment and effort of these young students and the community should be celebrated! Crossing the 100,000-pound collected threshold is something we could only do together. We are extremely grateful for the years of support we’ve received. The food and grocery items collected here will have an immediate and positive impact on those who need it most in our community,” Livia Marrs, Food Bank Volunteer and Food Drive Manager, said.

Emily Warren and Lily Stendig are student leaders from Albemarle High School and part of “Students Working Against Hunger.” Sofia Smith from Tandem Friends School joined as a co-coordinator for 2024. Lily is in her second term, and Emily is in her third year as School Food Drive coordinator.

“This is a huge milestone and a physical reminder of the difference that youth can make in the community. One hundred thousand pounds is certainly something that must be acknowledged and celebrated for the students in the community. Remember that donations don’t stop just because donation bins are no longer in the school lobby. The Food Bank is currently at a historical low in the ratio between donations and need, so we really need to keep helping our neighbors in the community! I am very thankful to everyone who participated, and very proud that I was able to be involved these past three years! Thank you so much to the community for your donations, and make sure to keep them coming,” Warren said.

Participating schools (and organizations) for the 2024 drive included:

  • Agnor Hurt Elementary School
  • Albemarle High School
  • Baker Butler Elementary School
  • Brownsville Elementary School
  • Crozet Elementary School
  • Greenbrier Elementary School
  • Greer Elementary School
  • Henley Middle School
  • Monticello High School
  • Murray Elementary School
  • Peabody School
  • Renaissance School
  • Scottsville Elementary School
  • Staunton Montessori School
  • Stone Robinson Elementary School
  • Stony Point Elementary School
  • Tandem Friends School
  • The Covenant School: Upper School
  • The International School of Charlottesville
  • Waldorf School
  • The Dairy Market and Cav Futures

School Food Drive winners were determined by the number of pounds collected per student (pounds collected / student body population). The 2024 winners include (broken out by school classes):

Elementary Schools:

  • 1st Place: Murray Elementary
  • 2nd Place: Crozet Elementary
  • 3rd Place: Brownsville Elementary

Elementary/Middle Schools:

  • 1st Place: Waldorf School
  • 2nd Place: Peabody School

 Middle School:

  • 1st Place: Henley Middle School

Middle/Upper Schools:

  • 1st Place: Covenant School
  • 2nd Place: Tandem Friends

 High Schools:

  • High 1st Place: Renaissance School
  • High 2nd Place: Albemarle High School
  • High 3rd Place: Monticello High School

 Most pounds collected overall:

  • 1st Place: Murray Elementary School
  • 2nd Place: Covenant School
  • 3rd Place: Crozet Elementary School

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.