Founded in 1982, the Connecticut Food Bank (CFB) is a member of the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks. Responsible for providing 47 million meals to Connecticut residents, the CFB is one of the many organizations in Connecticut dedicated to combating food insecurity.
StuCo President Joy Xu ’23 emphasized the dual purpose of the CFBF. “Our goal, along with Maroon Key and [the Student Diversity Board (DivBo)], is to simultaneously support the CT Food Bank as much as possible as a school community, but also to expose the students at Hopkins to this great opportunity to get out in their communities and help people in need.”
This year, instead of a monetary goal, the school-wide objective for the CFBF is 600 hours of combined fundraising. Xu said, “We framed the fundraiser in terms of hours rather than money to encourage the engagement and efforts of the entire community.” .
For the Walkathon, a campus-wide route starting at Upper Heath was planned out. Students would try to walk as many laps as possible. Each student who signed up for the Walkathon had family and friends pledge a certain amount of money for each lap completed. At the end of the fundraiser, the pledgers would write checks out to the CFB. Said senior class StuCo Representative Ava Littman ’23, “The goal of the Walkathon was to raise money for the CFBF in a new and exciting way,”
While some students walked, other participants also roved the campus selling homemade baked goods to students, faculty, and staff. Volunteer Shriya Salkakale ’24 said, “We had this cool idea of going around campus into the various buildings and selling baked goods to people as we ran into them. It sounds a bit impractical, but it worked out great and I had a blast going around with Dhalia (one of the heads of Hop Bakes).”
Though the number of participants was smaller than she hoped, Xu expressed gratitude framed the event as an overall success: “I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who came out to support the Walkathon because, thanks to them it was a great success!” According to Xu, “We had around 30 people walking and I estimate that we raised around $400, both from the sponsors for the Walkathon and from the bake sale hosted by HopBakes.”
The Walkathon has paved the way for other special events within the CFBF. Both Xu and Littman confirmed that StuCo is actively planning to come up with new ways to fundraise. Xu said, “[StuCo], in collaboration with Maroon Key and DivBo, is actively engaged in conversation with the community to determine how we can improve our fundraising efforts.” Xu noted that this includes the methods of fundraising and engagement, as well the causes we support.
Xu emphasized that StuCo welcomes input from all parts of the Hopkins Community. Xu said, “We would be happy to hear from anyone who has an opinion on this idea,” said Xu, “We are continuously aiming to make this annual fundraiser even better for our community.”