Canned Food Drive Adopts New Name
To begin this year’s season of fundraising, Student Council President Samuel Jenkins ’19 surprised the Hopkins community by changing the name of the fundraiser from the long standing Canned Food Drive, also known as the CFD, to the Connecticut Food Bank Fundraiser, or the CFBF.
The annual autumn fundraiser is intended to bring the school together and help the greater community around Hopkins during the holiday season. During the fundraiser, an informal school wide competition is held to see which grade will volunteer for the most hours. During the kickoff Assembly for the fundraiser, Jenkins arrived at the podium wearing a repurposed homemade canned food costume. To symbolize the switch, he triumphantly shed the costume as he announced the name change. As Hopkins does not donate canned goods to the Food Bank, Jenkins deemed it illogical to continue referring to the fundraiser as the “Canned Food Drive.” Ella Zuse ’21, Student Council President of the sophomore class, recounted how “[StuCo] thought a new name would stir up new excitement for the fundraiser.”
The Director of Equity and Community, Becky Harper, showed her support for the “logical” decision: “it makes sense, we raise money instead of cans.” Student Council representative of the Junior class, George Wang ’20, further explained: “The name CFBF intuitively makes sense. We currently do not collect cans. Instead, we fundraise by collecting monetary donations.” Although at first he admitted to having a hard time grasping the new name, Wang ’20 later stated, “ I think [the new name] accurately represents what we are doing.” Even those who prefer the old name admit to the practicality of the change. Although Owen Lamothe ’22 thought “the name should have stayed the same,” he acknowledged the convenience that the new name introduced: “[the new name] makes more sense... People know what it is from the start.”
While the name CFBF has increasingly gained more support from much of the faculty and student body, other members of the Hopkins community had a diffcult time getting used to the switch. Lamothe ’22 touched on how the new name must overcome tradition when he explained that “everyone still calls it the CFD.” Robert Tulonge ’20 stated, “I prefer the original name because it has been around since I have been at Hop and it’s what I’m used to.” Hopkins Librarian, James Gette expressed he was on the fence between the two names but mentioned how his “traditionalist side will always miss the original name of the Canned Food Drive.” While Sawyer Maloney ’21 approved of the new name, he also described his appreciation for the tradition tied to the old name: “I think the CFD is easier, and more iconic.”
When asked about which name she preferred, Victoria Aromolaran ’20 mentioned the “restrictive” character of the original name: “The old name, ‘Canned Food Drive’ sounds like it limits our fundraiser to donation of canned goods, when in reality, we participate in a much larger way.” Sophie Sonnenfeld ’21, a Student Council representative for the sophomore class shared how the benefts of the new name stretch beyond convenience and logic: “I think the name change is important and helpful as it describes our community participation.”
To most of the Hopkins who participate in the fundraiser, the name change is not a big deal. Maloney ‘21, who volunteers around two hours each weekend, admitted how while he “thinks the drive is the most effcient way to get everyone in the school involved,” he “[doesn’t] really care that [the name] changed.” When asked about the importance of the name change, Zeus ’21 responded: “What really matters is that we work together as a school to help alleviate hunger and support the Connecticut Food Bank.” Gette also shared a similar outlook: “In the end, it’s just a name. It’s still a great cause no matter what we call it.”