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Plymouth Whitemarsh taking part in ‘Great Food Fight’

Jenny DeHuff
Time Herald

WHITEMARSH — Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) is among 18 schools in the five-county Philadelphia region to take part in “The Great Food Fight,” a campaign challenging students to collect as much canned goods and other non-perishables as they can in a two-week period.

During a press conference at the high school Wednesday, school officials and food drive participants announced the launch of the drive with fanfare, complete with the PWHS cheerleaders and the marching band revving up the crowd.

Sponsored by Shire Pharmaceuticals and in partnership with Philabundance, the school district will receive food items until Oct. 15. The school that collects the most food, based on weight per student, will win a $10,000 cash reward for their respective school.

“It doesn’t matter how big your school is or how many students you have there, it’s about the amount of heart and enthusiasm you put into these food drives,” said Alyssa Moles, program coordinator for food acquisition at Philabundance.

Colonial School District Superintendent Vincent F. Cotter said community service is something his students continue to embrace.

“Over the next two weeks, this is something our students are really going to get into and endorse wholeheartedly,” he said.

“We have a history and record of community service at PWHS and I believe this will be no different. I knew our students would be up to the challenge, 100 percent. If our students step up, our adults will step up.”

PWHS Student Council President Sam Silbilger said this is the first major initiative taken on by the student body.

“This is our first event of the year,” said Silbilger. “We want to get our school and the elementary schools in the whole district involved. It’s our first action as student council for the year.”

Ann Judge, global human resource director for Shire Pharmaceuticals, said the commencement of Wednesday’s food drive echoed the company’s mission of fostering good corporate citizenship.

“When we learned about Philabundance and the fact that hunger was increasing in the Delaware Valley, and that in essence was a 35 percent increase in the number of individuals in need, we said, ‘we can make a difference here,’” said Judge.

“As Shire employees, we want to be as brave as the patients that we help. Part of being brave is exactly what you are doing here today. This is the first regional high school food drive of its kind in the northeast United States, and it represents 20,000 high school students across the region.”

Watch video of press conference, here.

Jenny DeHuff can be reached at jdehuff@timesherald.com or 610-272-2500 ext. 207.

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