NHS Annual Food Drive: Erie High School Gives Back


Erie High school students and NHS officers gather in front of the collected food

Logan Hale, Staff Writer

With Thanksgiving not too long ago, and Christmas right around the corner, families all around long to enjoy this year’s festivities with friends and family, but most importantly, a good meal. However, for some less fortunate, this meal is not possible. 


The NHS Erie food drive, which began helping the community in 1980, works all year round to collect food in order to support these families, and provide a good holiday meal. Many volunteers, Erie citizens, and young people/students get involved to assist with the drive. 


According to one of these volunteers, a NHS director, Robin Kitlowski, “Food insecurity can hit many families unexpectedly, especially during COVID. So collecting this food, and getting the community involved is important and necessary.” 


During COVID, when mass unemployment and financial instability hit a vast number of households in nearly every community, the food drive was, “more important than ever,” Kitlowski says. “Previous food drives have been smaller, but with COVID and the increasing need for food, we have since partnered with community businesses and neighborhoods to help spread the word, and have really knocked it out of the park,” she elaborates. Community involvement is important to spread awareness about the food struggles within Erie and using Erie highschool has been a significant way to do so.


Several Erie Highschool students have been involved in recent years, organizing and supporting the food drive, getting the school involved and even going as far as keeping the food at their house before it is sent to the food bank. Two of these students, who are also NHS officers, are Aria Pickett and Aidan Morganfield. Both students have been involved since 2020, and were heavily involved especially this year, with spreading the word and collecting food from advisories. 


They say that they found a connection with helping others and wanting to put their privileges to work; in other words, to give back. Aria Pickett, a junior at Erie high says she, “was originally intrigued because I wanted to be involved with something big that makes a difference.” 


Heading into this season’s food drive, “there wasn’t necessarily a set number goal, rather just the goal to donate more food than the year before, and we did just that,” says Morganfield. When all the donations were added together, there was a total of 1,500 pounds of food. Which was substantially more in comparison to the 2020 food drive, where there was hundreds of pounds less.


Both students agreed that the 2021 food drive was overall very successful and has helped out many families in need this winter so far. According to Kitlowski, “there are currently over 100 active houses in need involved this year”, but all the food collected this year is able to help roughly over 300 families. Due to the assistance from the NHS and this year’s food drive, hundreds of citizens and families have been able to feed their children, put a good meal on their table, and overall improve the quality of life for Erie as a whole.