DOWNEY - In an effort to restock the local PTA H.E.L.P.S. room with enough food for the holiday season, Downey High School is encouraging students to stay away from cheap food products like Top Ramen and Kool-Aid packets.For many years, teachers who offered extra credit for donations would often receive endless boxes of instant noodles from their students. Top Ramen might be fine as an occasional snack, but it is certainly not suitable as part of a wholesome Thanksgiving feast. Also, some desperate students would sneakily pass off individual packets of artificially flavored drink powders as acceptable items. This is why Downey ASB finally thought of a solution for the classroom competition-to offer no points for Top Ramen and Kool-Aid and double points for items that are most needed for needy families. From November 1-19, Downey hopes to collect thousands of items. "After receiving word that the H.E.L.P.S. room was running out of food and in high demand of certain items, I figured that changing the rules would promote our efforts," said Joshua Noa, commissioner of campus and community at Downey High. "A large and varied student body means that there are so many resources prepared to help, enabling us to assist more people than we ever could individually." Items that are worth double points are macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, muffin or cornbread mix, cake mix and Jell-O. "I think this year's food drive is going to be a great success," said ASB president Kristin Maranan. "Our commissioner of campus and community is very excited to get the community involved in Downey High's efforts to make the food drive worthwhile. Although we are going through tough economic times, the Downey Vikings are always supportive in our philanthropic efforts. Our goal is to provide complete meals to families who cannot afford to celebrate their Thanksgiving with a delicious dinner." The top three winners in the classroom competition will receive pizza, ice cream and nacho parties, but the most important reason for this food drive is to help the community with sincere hearts. "I believe it is important for students to participate in these philanthropic efforts because it builds character," said Maranan. "By contributing to school activities, students feel a sense of happiness through knowing that they had an opportunity to help someone in need. It is the notion of giving without receiving anything in return that exemplifies true altruism."
********** Published: November 4, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 29