DMMV takes its first step to pay it forward

The annual hunger drive has come to an end with an overall abundance of success. The total amount raised was $3,363 this year. Food pantries in the community like Loaves and Fishes will receive the money to be able to purchase necessary items for families that are struggling to afford them. 

When the topic of poverty comes up in classrooms, students tend to think of less developed countries or poor people on the side of busy streets. The idea of a classmate going through a situation like poverty never crosses a student’s mind. Although there is a very low percentage of students at Metea who are homeless, it does not hit the zero mark. The Illinois State Report Card recently reported that 1.8 percent of students at Metea are homeless. The students who fall in this percentage do not have access to a consistent home and depend on food pantries to acquire necessary items to live a sanitary life. 

The report card also mentions that the school has 20 percent of students who come from low-income families; the district average is 17 percent. Low-income students are those approved for public aid and free or reduced lunch program. These percentages have stayed constant for the past three years. 

Erin Matus, a social studies teacher, has seen cases like these in her years of teaching at Metea Valley. 

“This is something that we talk about in class and that teachers are aware of or should be aware of. It’s a very real possibility that if a student’s primary needs are not met, how can we expect them to come to class and focus,” Matus said.  

It all adds up to larger things, such as graduation rate, dropout rate, or success rate. The hunger drive was a great way for students to come together to take action against hunger in their own school. 

“We set our goal to $8,000. We didn’t necessarily reach our goal, but what matters most is that we were able to help the less fortunate no matter how much money we raised,” junior chairman of DMMV Mary Anaya said.  

The money that DMMV and StuGo raised will be sent to food pantries like Loaves and Fishes, Marie Wilkison, and the Northern Illinois Food Bank to help people who depend on these organizations to feed their families. DMMV and StuGo are planning on going to these food pantries this month.

“Organizations in the community that focus on hunger problems and helping the homeless are always looking for volunteers. For example, Hesed House, Feed My Starving Children, Marie Wilkison, and much more,” Anaya said.