Students from Gaithersburg High School Interact Club and Lazarus Leadership Fellows at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School collected food for Manna Food Center at their local Giant Food stores Jan. 19.
The collections were part of Help the Hungry food drives sponsored by Manna in conjunction with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 22.
The Gaithersburg students stood in front of the Flower Hill Giant in Gaithersburg handing out flyers explaining the mission of Manna Food Center and encouraging shoppers to donate nonperishable food to the collection. In three hours, they received contributions filling three grocery carts.
“The overall generosity of people is amazing,” Nicoli Robinson, a freshman at Gaithersburg, said.
The GHS Interact Club, which is sponsored by the Gaithersburg Rotary Club, is a service organization. The group tries to do one community project per month, Jennifer Strelser, teacher sponsor of the club, said.
In Bethesda, at the Giant Food Store in the Westwood Shopping Center, eight student members of Lazarus Leadership Fellows — a community service and leadership program for students who live within the B-CC school boundaries — collected five baskets of food from shoppers.
Manna Food Center is the main food bank of Montgomery County. Its mission is to “eliminate hunger in Montgomery County through food distribution, education and advocacy,” according to the group’s website.
Churchill High School in Potomac also helped with a food drive, Marie Kozlowski, volunteer manager at Manna, said.
The total for the MLK Food Drives was 29,255 pounds.
“While this is lower than we expected or have experienced in the past, we are grateful to everyone who came out to Giant last weekend to support Manna,” Allison Krumsiek Anderson, Manna Development Manager, wrote in an email.