Students from Seckman and Windsor high schools walk along Seckman Road collecting food and cleaning up along the route during the 2022 March for Hunger.

Students from Seckman and Windsor high schools walk along Seckman Road collecting food and cleaning up along the route during the 2022 March for Hunger.

Students from Seckman and Windsor high schools will band together again to collect canned goods and other nonperishable food items for Sister Christine’s Food Pantry at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Imperial.

The March for Hunger food drive will culminate on Thursday, March 30, when members of the Student Council from each school will make their annual trek around the two school campuses and along Seckman Road gathering food along the way.

The students, who will be accompanied by representatives from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Army Recruiting Office in Festus, will then take the donated food to the food pantry.

“It is important to get out in our community and help each other,” said Seckman High senior Olivia Beck, 18, of Barnhart, who is helping organize the march. “We have families struggling to get food on their tables, especially with how expensive groceries have been recently.”

The collection on March 30 will begin at about 7:45 a.m. at Windsor High School in Imperial, where students will collect donated food from the Windsor C-1 School District’s schools.

They will then head to the Mastodon State Historic Site, 1050 Charles J. Becker Drive, in Imperial, and at about 10:30 a.m., the students will begin the march along Seckman Road toward the Seckman campus in Imperial.

While marching on the side of Seckman Road, students will collect donated items from bins set up at the entrances to subdivisions along the way.

Those bins will be placed at the subdivision entrances by Friday, March 24, to give residents a chance to donate, Beck said. Donations may be made until 10 a.m. Friday, March 30.

After arriving on the Seckman campus, the students will collect donated items from the high school, middle school and elementary schools before loading the food onto a bus to transport it to Christine’s Food Pantry.

“I love the service aspect of Student Council and getting out in the community,” said Windsor senior Abby Holland, 18, of Festus, whose parents work for the Windsor C-1 School District and is the Student Council’s service committee chair. “Collecting cans is a good way to do that, and it gets some food to the food pantry to distribute them to people who need them.

“The participation is really good. There are a lot of kids. It is a fun day. The subdivisions always put out a lot of cans and make it easy for us to collect the cans.”

Beck said about 80 students participate in the collection march, adding that one of the best parts of the day is interacting with students from a different school.

“We get to go to Windsor and meet with their Student Council and build relationships,” she said. “We feed off each other. We see what they are doing, they see what we are doing, and then we can figure out if there is anything we want to change or do differently.”

Beck said students collected about 7,000 food items last school year.

“We want to do better than last year,” she said.

Holland said Windsor Intermediate Center had already collected 3,000 items as of March 15.

She said teachers at the high school are helping entice students there to donate to the drive.

“The high school is doing a teacher dare,” Holland said. “A bunch of teachers came up with different dares, such as a teacher will switch places with a student for 300 canned goods.”

At Seckman High, students can earn perks if they donate a certain amount of food, Beck said.

If there is inclement weather on March 30, the students plan to collect food donations along Seckman Road at the same time on Friday, March 31.