Area high schoolers on Wednesday participated in the second annual Supermarket Sweet, an event that allows students to collect hundreds of non-perishable groceries that will go toward a food drive for local senior citizens. The McLean County High School team collected the most items, gathering nearly $300 worth of non-perishables.
The Supermarket Sweep is part of the Feed Seniors Now program that helps feed senior citizens in the GRADD area that are affected by food insecurity. GRADD In-home Services Manager Amber Phelps said it’s important for high schoolers to get involved in this issue.
“I don’t think you always see the big picture when you’re that young, and so it’s great to make them aware that our senior citizens do struggle with purchasing food and prescriptions. We kind of think that our senior citizens don’t struggle with things when they get to that age,” Phelps said.
Seniors from Owensboro Innovation Academy along with Hancock, Henderson, McLean, and Webster county high schools also participated.
McLean County students Stephan Todd and Kyndal Daughtery said it feels great to continue the winning streak for their school, but they also said it’s important to give back to the community in this way.
“It feels amazing to give back to the community any way possible, but to do that with food so nobody goes hungry feels even more great,” Todd said.
GRADD plans to donate the food to the local citizens on April 19 after some other students help pack the boxes.
“We have so much involvement from our high school seniors. We wanted to make sure to do it while they were still in school so they can be involved,” Phelps said.
Executive Director Joanna Shake also noted the importance of collaboration with other organizations that also help in the areas like Independence Bank and Comfort Keepers.
“Food insecurity and hunger for a lot of our senior citizens. It’s something that they face, it’s heartbreaking. It’s our neighbors, it’s our friends, it’s our family, and to be able to give back, it’s just something that’s special to us,” Nick Oller, President of the Owensboro Branch.