While many people expect to sit down to a table overflowing with food this Thanksgiving, that’s not the case for many Ohioans. And that’s one of the reasons Fairmont High School has conducted a Food Drive each November for more than a quarter of a century.
Fairmont’s Food Drive takes place Nov. 17-21 this year.
Some people may think that the improving economy has lessened the need, but data from the foodbank network Feeding America shows that more than one in six Ohioans struggle to put food on the table, compared to one in eight in 2010.
And the need is evident in Kettering, too. “About 40 to 50 percent of Kettering families are on a free or reduced lunch,” said Roger Bauser, assistant activities coordinator at Fairmont. That indicates that Kettering parents are also struggling to provide proper nutrition to their families.
“There’s a great deal of hunger here,” Bauser explained. “In response, we’ve teamed up with local food pantries across the Kettering area over the years.”
The students at Fairmont have been, and continue to be, huge contributors of food for the Kettering community. This year, as in recent years, the food collected at Fairmont will be delivered to the Greenmont-Oak Park Food Pantry, located behind the church at 1921 Woodman Dr.
“I think it’s important for the good of the community to keep people from being hungry,” Bauser said. “We need to fill the pantries with as much food as possible this year, and every year after.”
Bauser, longtime activities director at Fairmont, has been involved in the Food Drive for many years. Cory Miller is in her second year as Fairmont activities coordinator.
“The Food Drive is a way to help those who are less fortunate,” Miller said. “I think it’s a great way to help students and families alike give back to our community.”
Bauser hopes students realize that their contributions really do matter. A few cans multiplied by 2,400 students adds up quickly.
“The food pantries can’t do what they do without the help of Fairmont,” he said.