Five cans, five dollars and five meals

WLHS’s Canned Food Drive ramps into full gear this week as ASB encourages each student to donate five cans


Today, a pyramid of multi-colored food cans, topped with a large paper replica of Campbell’s Condensed Soup, stands by the Media Center in the library. This visual serves to promote West Linn High School’s Canned Food Drive, an effort that began yesterday, Nov. 12, and ends Nov. 21. Before this date, the Associated Student Body hopes to amass 15,000 to 20,000 cans. Students are encouraged to contribute five cans towards this goal.

“We thought five was a very feasible number for kids to start out with,” Leah Olson, junior and ASB officer, said. “Hopefully, by the pyramid we’re making and the meter that we have in the library, they’ll notice that we’re making a difference as a school. Next week, we’re gonna push for everybody to bring another five or so cans.”

According to Olson, hunger is a prevalent issue in Clackamas County; one in five children and one in four adults go hungry every day.

“West Linn is definitely known as a predominantly white and wealthy city to live in,” Olson said, “But I think anywhere you go, you would be surprised at how many people actually need food.”

ASB is taking a different approach with the Canned Food Drive this year. In past years, ASB has provided prizes to the student or class who contributes the greatest amount of cans, such as Portland Trail Blazer tickets or a parking spot. Currently, ASB hopes to motivate students to donate because of a recognized need. Travis Fain, ASB president, tweeted the link to a video, found at, to promote this message. The video parallels the stories of two students– one who has food readily available, and one who doesn’t.

“Every day we come home and there’s food on our plates and food on our table, and we don’t think twice about it,” Olson said. “But this year we’re trying the get people to think twice about it. Realizing, ‘I have food on my table, and I have food in my pantry, I can go donate five cans or ten cans’ is really what this is about.”

Cans containing chili or otherwise hearty entrées are most desirable, according to Olson. Such donations are being sought at Market of Choice as well as WLHS. Students and families can also donate cash, which ASB will use to purchase more cans. For instance, participants and spectators can donate money or cans as entry fees to this year’s Powder Tuff tournament, which is being held tonight at 7 p.m. Spectators must pay $2 or give two cans.

There is a competition with other schools in the Three Rivers League, which are also currently conducting their food drives. The timing of WLHS’s food drive is also opportune because of the approaching Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season.

“We like to be in the giving mood at WLHS,” Olson said. “[Our message] hits home to people more and it’s easier to get people to understand why they should bring food. This time of year is also known for food and giving back, and so it’s really good time of year [to do so].”