Tackle Hunger Food Drive

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For many years, backyard rivals, the Latrobe Wildcats and the Derry Trojans have played a preseason game against one another that stirs emotions within the schools. But beginning just last year, the Cats and Trojans started a new kind of competition; one benefiting others. The rival still exists between the schools, but the prize of putting food in the bellies of those in need, is much more rewarding

It began with two community service clubs and a common goal. Latrobe and Derry high schools both had Interact clubs, but to make Interact a more dominant club at Latrobe and create a more intense rivalry, the two clubs joined forces. The two advisors, Mr. Bill Snyder and Mrs. Deb Bushey of Derry, felt that the school rivalry football game would become a place for people to be involved in a food collection competition between the schools. “I think the rivalry between Latrobe and Derry has an impact on the competition. Derry is always trying to beat Latrobe at anything they can so I think the kids really got into it,” commented Bushey.  The groups competed to have more canned goods to donate to Westmoreland Food Bank to reach the goal of feeding needy families in the county.

Last year the ‘Cats beat the Trojans on the field, but lost the food drive competition to with an estimated score of 4,000 to 400 food items.

This year Latrobe’s Key Club was determined to get back at Derry for taking the win last year. “I think we came into the competition with our mind set on beating Derry this year after what happened last year,” said Key Club president Alex Brant.  

 Derry was more prepared for the fight. “We had signs up in the local supermarket and sent home a flier with every K thru 12 student,” said Bushey. Derry prevailed with a total of 5,198 dominating Latrobe’s 509. “Latrobe students always feel high on their horse and mighty in beating Derry, but Derry beat us both times in the food drive where the outcome actually matters [by affecting others in need],” said Key Club advisor Bill Snyder.

Besides the competition factor, the overall amount of food donated to the Westmoreland County Food Bank was successful, resulting in approximately 4,827 meals. All in all, everyone could agree that the event was successful. The two schools raised well over the amount of food other schools in the area have raised during similar events. “I believe that overall the event was successful, it’s just a shame we couldn’t compete with Derry. Next year we will know to begin spreading the word earlier,” Alex Brant stated optimistically.

Mr. Snyder also offered his insight. “If every student in the school brought just six canned goods, it would bring Latrobe’s total alone to about 7,000 canned goods.” With this in mind, hopefully next year’s event is a win on the field and off for Latrobe.