FBLA Food Drive

After successfully gathering thousands of food items last year, The Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA, is back at it again. They focus on much more than business leadership, they also give back to the local community.
FBLA is hosting their annual food drive Oct. 19 through 30. Starting this year, students are encouraged to bring in toiletry items as well as food.
“This is the first we’ve ever done a toiletry drive along with a food drive. The past two years have been completely food-based, but we’ve noticed a need for toiletry items so we decided to broaden the drive,” FBLA president, Veronica McLean said.
In years past, the proceeds have always gone to the Salvation Army. However, the local need for supplies at the West Johnston food bank prompted FBLA to reconsider. This is also the reason toiletry items are now being accepted. “If you’re a business leader, you need to be involved in your community, That’s what we’re trying to instill in our business leaders. You don’t just run your own business, you have to be out in your community,” FBLA club advisor, Amanda Fisher said.
Another new aspect to this year’s drive is the point system. Traditionally, the fourth block class who brought in the most food would win a prize. Because of this, students tended to bring food items in bulk. “In the past couple of years, people would bring in cases of Ramen Noodles and automatically win. We added the point system to get a greater variety of things,” McLean said.
The rules to the point system are simple. Students receive one point for their class when they donate Ramen Noodles or small toiletry items. Boxed or canned foods are worth two points, and large toiletry items are three points. The fourth block class with the most points wins an ice cream social.
“We get chocolate and vanilla ice cream and all sorts of toppings. We get whipped cream, sprinkles and oreos. We brought in three gallons of ice cream last time. Everybody is really excited to participate,” said Fisher.
Initially, FBLA began hosting the drive to be eligible for competition.
“We started [the food drive] so FBLA could participate in an FBLA community service project, where you present the project to a panel of judges. If you win statewide, you go to nationals,” said McLean. “It’s connected to FBLA because we do a presentation with it.”
Having the food pantry at the school allows for easy transportation of goods.
“The Salvation Army is kind of hard to deal with. They’re only open on certain days at certain hours, and they aren’t really reliable. We are West Johnston, so we need to help our local community,” Fisher said.
In years past they have been successful in reaching their quota.
“We always have a goal, and the first year it was a 1000 and we actually collected 2000 items. Our goal last year was over 2000 and we collected 2500 items,” said Fisher. “This year, whenever we will meet we will set a goal. I think we can collect over 2500 items though.”