Food For Thought Kicks Off

The annual canned food drive, Food For Thought, began Oct. 25 after the annual STUCO sleepover and skits.

Jenna Barackman, Reporter

Food for Thought officially kicked-off after the Stuco sleepover in the courtyard Oct. 24 and the skits performed in the gym Oct. 25. Students on Stuco had a chance to bond with other grades while practicing their skits and sitting around the bonfire.

“It made get closer bonds with people I never would have before,” Freshman Class President Grace Townsend said. “We got a chance to talk to the sophomores a lot and ended up hanging out with them all night.”

Food for Thought is an annual, two-week long canned food drive with all proceeds going to Redemptorist Social Services, a non-profit organization focused on helping Missourians find reliable food sources, according to their website.

Each year, grades compete to bring the most cans in pounds in order to win prizes. The goal for this year is 10 tons. Stuco has not released the prizes for this year. However, if the collective can total is more than six tons by Nov. 2 then students can wear out of uniform sweatshirts Nov. 5. 

“We beat our goal last year, so I know we can do it again,” Stuco Sponsor Jennifer Brown-Howerton said. “I’m very optimistic.”

Students on Stuco arrived at school at 6 p.m. and set up their tents to stay the night in the courtyard, according to Senior Class President Sarah Tappan. Unlike the previous years, where students slept in boxes to simulate being homeless for a night, this year they decided to do tents because of the cold and rainy night, according to Tappan.

“It was definitely different but I don’t think it took away from the overall message of helping to feed the hungry locally,” Tappan said. “We were much warmer than previous years, and it rained, so I was really glad to be in a tent.”

Students on Stuco split into grade levels and practiced and tweaked their skits for around three hours that were to be shown the next day, according to sophomore Stuco member Cirese Mendolia.

“We worked so hard on it. We wanted it to be really, really good,” Mendolia said. “We practiced for hours and even had to cut half of it, but I was proud of what we did in the end.”

Then there was a campfire with s’mores from 9-10 p.m.. Students who brought in five or more cans were allowed to join Stuco around the campfire, according to Principal Natalie McDonough. Some Stuco members attended this, but others, who had not yet perfected their skit, opted out.

“It was a small group for sure, but it was really nice to talk to students in such a relaxed environment,” McDonough said.

Students on Stuco then showcased their skits, centered around canned food and Food for Thought, the next day during an all-school assembly in the gym. The freshman’s skit was about AmeriCAN Ninja Warrior, where characters competed in can-related challenges. The sophomores’ skit was the investigation of stolen cans, with each suspect being a typical high school stereotype. The juniors’ skit was about a Thanksgiving dinner of a family, where each family member was a different stereotype. The seniors’ skit kept on the tradition of impersonating faculty members by dressing up as them.

“I was really proud of how they turned out,” chaperone of the sleepover Kristi Hilgenfeld said. “I can’t say that I understood all the references, but the girls were so creative.”



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  • Sophomores Mikayla Gunther, Brynna Dow and Ruby Wright bounce ideas off of each other for their skits in the Commons Oct. 24. The sophomore skit was based on interrogations of suspects of a can theft.

  • Freshmen Lauren Ellewanger, Tess Tappan, Kate Lovick and Trinity Mayer introduce their characters to the audience during their performance in the gym Oct. 25. Their skit was based on the show American Ninja Warrior and participants competed in can-based challenges.

  • Sophomore Audrey O’Brien questions sophomores Brynna Dow and Avery Brundige during their skit about stolen cans in the gym Oct. 25.

  • Senior Maggie Carr imitates French teacher Liz Bono while students sing the school song during the senior skit in the gym Oct. 25.

  • Juniors Avery Kuhls and Emily Rine act as a mother and a grandmother respectively during their skit Oct. 25.

  • Juniors Emily Rine and Reilly Jackoboice made adjustments to their skit during the STUCO sleepover Oct. 24. The junior skit was set at a family Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Sophomores Katelyn Brinkman and Ruby Wright drag sophomore Cirese Mendolia across the floor after she is revealed as the can thief during their skit in the gym Oct. 25.

  • Senior Samantha Wilson impersonates Technology Director Jason Ketter during the senior skit in the gym Oct. 25.

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