Hatboro-Horsham High School student council members have their work cut out for them.
In a matter of a few weeks, the 106-member council will be working to collect enough food, money and gift cards to provide a traditional holiday dinner, plus two weeks of groceries for “in excess” of 200 Hatboro and Horsham families.
Student council advisor Dave Thomas said the high school’s seventh annual Feed A Friend collection drive is projected to be the biggest yet. Last year, the student council fed 116 families and the year prior 92 families.
“We will never go less,” Thomas told Patch. “We will always go more.”
That “more” may mean seeking additional donations from businesses, individuals and the community as a whole over the next few weeks. Most notably, the student council will be delivering collection bags to Hatboro and Horsham homes on Dec. 1. Those wishing to help feed a local friend(s) can simply place non-perishable foods in the bags and leave them out for pickup on Dec. 8.
Student Council President Sean Raymond, a Hatboro-Horsham senior, said all 106 student council members help with the effort, which has grown into a collaborative effort among the school’s organizations.
“All the clubs work together,” Sean said. “Student council takes the lead.”
Sean said he was in the process of sending letters to businesses to request financial help with the effort. Last week, the student council raised about $2,000 from its annual Wingbowl, which will benefit Feed A Friend.
Thomas said he’s found gift cards to be better than food donations in some cases, because, “It’s hard to know what they want on their table.”
“We like to empower them and not just hand them things,” Thomas said of recipients. “They can go shopping with more than they normally have. It’s an easier way to donate.”
In all, Thomas said each household receives at least $100 worth of gift cards plus food.
Besides food contributions, Thomas said a private donor chipped in $2,000 for the high school’s Magical Mornings effort, which provides Christmas gifts to children of needy families.
“We have a giving tree,” Thomas said, adding that donors would select a child from the tree, see his or her age and “what they are wishing for.”
Thomas said Hatboro-Horsham alums home from college break often reach out to him and ask if they can help with Feed A Friend. That, he said, is proof of its lasting impact.
“The real value of it is you’re helping your fellow human beings,” Thomas said.
How you can help
The Hatboro-Horsham High School student council will deliver food collection bags to Hatboro and Horsham households on Dec. 1 and will pick up those bags on Dec. 8. Donors are asked to place non-perishable foods in the bags. If your home does not receive a bag, or if you’d like to contribute more, drop off monetary donations, gift cards, or non-perishable goods to Hatboro-Horsham High School, 899 Horsham Road in Horsham, or St. Catherine of Siena Church, 321 Witmer Road, Horsham. Food and gift cards will be distributed to families in need on Dec. 21.