The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


Xavier’s Canned Food Drive gathers 550,740 cans for people in need

Asiana Guang, Managing Editor and Best of SNO award-winning writer
Ria La Sota ‘24, Katherine Lum Lung ‘24 and dean Denise Macrina cheerfully collect donations in front of Xavier’s lawn as students are walking in before school starts. (Photo courtesy of Emily Pallari)

Traditions and charity have always been a central part of Xavier College Preparatory’s community. Since the 1980s, Xavier has been hosting its yearly Canned Food Drive,” donating proceeds to non-profit organization St. Vincent de Paul, with a main purpose: to give food to those in need. 

Students and faculty were motivated to help the community join together to collect a grand total of 550,740 cans this year. Through St. Vincent de Paul, all of the cans collected were donated to people in Arizona experiencing food insecurity.

St. Vincent de Paul is a non-profit organization in Phoenix that is dedicated to helping those in need. They provide food, clothing, housing and healthcare to Arizona locals, regardless of their circumstances. 

Xavier’s Canned Food Drive has been happening yearly for about 37 years. It was started with a motivation to help those in need, and has been continuing ever since. The goal of the drive is always to beat the previous year’s total amount of cans donated, and to help as many people as possible. 

This year’s drive was led by Xavier’s National Honor Society members, who volunteered their mornings to collect funds and cans. Throughout the four weeks, NHS members arrived at school early, dedicating their mornings to collecting donations. Members also helped to promote the fundraiser by spreading the word to family and friends through various announcements. 

Xavier homeroom competitions for each grade level motivated students to donate as much as possible.  Each dollar donated would equate to 10 cans for St. Vincent de Paul. The competitions brought out students’ competitiveness to collect as many cans as possible, and knowing it was for a good cause made it even more worthwhile.

“I’m lucky to have as much as I do, and I was so excited to hear that there was an opportunity to give back,” said Gabriella Conti, Xavier NHS Member. 

Tara Metzger, NHS advisor, played a key role in the drive’s facilitation. She has been involved in the drive for the past 15 years. “The Xavier community never ceases to amaze me,” Metzger said.

While organizing the drive is a large undertaking, the years of experience helps it run efficiently. “Thankfully, we have a pretty good plan in place and since we have been doing this for so many years it helps to make preparation a little easier,” said Metzger. 

Xavier students were encouraged to participate in the drive by bringing money, cans and tax credits. Tax credits are a great way that students can collect large amounts of money to donate, with the help of their families. “A senior, Mackenzie Weston and her family, collected over $4,000 in tax credits,” Metzger said. 

At the start of the holiday season, Xavier’s spirit of giving was stronger than ever. “The generosity of the families, faculty and staff and friends is unlike anything I have experienced,” Metzger said. 

Donations were collected for four weeks, from October 16 to November 10. In this short span of time, the 550,740 cans of food were gathered.  

The large donation of cans was made easier because of the strong sense of community that Xavier holds. “Humans have an innate desire to help.  I think Xavier has such a sense of community that it almost makes it seem easy.  It is a daily thing here to offer your help or to contribute your time, energy or resources to someone who needs it,” Metzger said. 

Xavier Senior and NHS member, Bethelehem Tejeji particularly enjoyed participating in the drive, because of how seamless it was for her to get involved. Students donated money and canned food at tables set up on campus. “Sometimes it’s difficult to find ways to give to the community, so I was excited to find out that I could directly help at Xavier,” Tejeji said.  

For the foreseeable future, the drive will continue helping the community each year. Donating canned food directly helps local families, and it is expected that “there will always be a tremendous need,” Metzger added. 

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