Concord, Calif. (October 16, 2020) – On Thursday, October 15, De La Salle students Luke Anderson ‘21, JT Baird ‘21, Kason Pelz ’21, Fernando Campos ‘22, Leo Villanueva ‘23, Matthew Fong ‘23, and Vincent Castillo ‘21 presented Monument Crisis Center (MCC) Executive Director, Sandra Scherer, with a check for $16,342 from donations made during the 20th Annual De La Salle High School Cereal Drive.
“We were happy that we surpassed our goal because now, more than ever, the need for cereal for the Monument Crisis Center is twice as high,” said Luke Anderson. “For every one that donated to this year’s Cereal Drive, thank you for keeping the tradition alive and for being very generous during a very hard time.”
Every year, De La Salle’s goal is to donate 3,000 boxes of cereal. This year, through the online donation platform, facilitated by a partnership with Para Ti Global, De La Salle received $13,342 from 316 individual donations and for the first time in cereal drive history, the school created an online auction, receiving $2,700 through the bidding process. Luke Anderson ‘21, the co-founder of Para Ti Global, is a member of the Service Leadership class and served as the 2020 Cereal Drive Chair.
With the donation of more than $16,000, and with the food bank discount, it is estimated that De La Salle’s donation will allow the Monument Crisis Center to purchase more than 5,000 boxes of cereal for families in need. On behalf of the De La Salle Service Leadership students and the Monument Crisis Center, thank you to everyone in the De La Salle community that contributed to the most successful cereal drive in school history.
“This relationship between the Monument Crisis Center and De La Salle high school is incredibly important for all sides of the community. The students begin to understand just how much they can do to help their community and they are making an incredible difference in the lives of the students we serve,” said MCC Executive Director Sandra Scherer. “To have De La Salle pivot to an online fundraiser so that we could purchase the cereal on a month-to-month basis is an incredible gift.”
In addition to working with the Monument Crisis Center, De La Salle has also partnered with St. David’s Pantry (Richmond, CA), the Contra Costa Food Bank, and the Solano Food Bank in previous years.
The Service Leadership class, under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth and Mr. Andrew Berkes, coordinated the drive, directing the creation of the website, coordinating a social media campaign, and working with De La Salle students to help them understand the challenge of food insecurity here in Contra Costa County and around the country.
“There are more and 18 million kids who are facing hunger in America this year. That number is just way too high,” said Kason Pelz ’21. “Not everyone is as fortunate as us and has the resources that we have. That’s why we do the Cereal Drive because people need our help.”
The De La Salle Cereal Drive was founded 20 years ago by Biology teacher, Viki Acquistapace, who has been the spokesperson and chief promoter of the drive since it started. The Cereal Drive is just one part of a school-wide Service Learning initiative. De La Salle High School seeks to challenge its students to serve others, especially the poor, and to deepen a sense of responsibility for humanity’s future.
Para Ti Global was co-founded by a Carondelet alumna and a De La Salle Senior, Luke Anderson, and its mission is to ensure that children everywhere, regardless of financial status, upbringing, background, or race have the opportunity to learn and grow through quality education and proper nutrition.
At De La Salle, the Cereal Drive connects with multiple classes as part of the overall Service Learning initiative of the school. In Religious Studies, the Lasallian Core Principle of Concern for the Poor and Social Justice is connected to the Cereal Drive. In Science they look at the various nutrients in cereals and in the past have tested for the presence of genetically modified crops. In multiple other courses, we look at the prevalence of food deserts and the connection between obesity and hunger in the United States.