March 14, 2012 – The students and staff of St. Louis Public Schools have held a food drive during the month of February for each of the past 10 school years. Known as “Hearts for Hunger,” the annual food drive provides much needed support to Operation Food Search pantries in St. Louis City. This year, SLPS collected 217,245 food items, bringing its 10-year total to 1,049,000.
In a ceremony held today at Shaw Visual and Performing Arts Elementary School, “Hearts for Hunger” organizer Joe Torrisi announced the top collecting schools for 2012. Roosevelt High School collected the most food items at the high school level – 13,189. Compton Drew ILC came in with the highest total at the middle school level – 17,000. Shaw VPA collected the most food items among elementary schools, and led all schools in the District with a total of 28,384, a new “Hearts for Hunger” record. This was the second consecutive year that Shaw VPA has finished as the top-collecting school.
The “Hearts for Hunger” goal for 2012 of 168,000 food items was eclipsed by almost 50,000. A total of 53 District schools participated in this year’s record-breaking collection of 217,245 food items, which surpasses the previous high of 147,000 set in 2007. Last year’s “Hearts for Hunger” collection netted 60,000 items.
Joining Torrisi at today’s celebration was St. Louis Public School District Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams, St. Louis Public School District Executive Director for Community Education John Windom, Operation Food Search Executive Director Sunny Schaeffer and Operation Food Search Director of Operations Gary Wells.