LEO Club and Hunger at Home Club lead participation in inter-school competition hosted by Martha’s Kitchen March 12, 2023 — by Sanjoli Gupta Photo by Martha’s KitchenSaratoga High will compete against local schools to see who can rack up the most donations and volunteer hours. The event will occur throughout the month of April. The school’s LEO Club and Hunger at Home Club will lead participation in the first “Food Fight” competition hosted by Martha’s Kitchen — a nonprofit soup kitchen that works to alleviate food insecurity — during the month of April. The goal is to promote awareness and encourage volunteers to combat food insecurity. After LEO Club packaged 270 PB&J sandwiches for Martha’s Kitchen on Jan. 25, they wrote back: “It was a joy to work with Saratoga High’s LEO Club. The sandwiches they made were the highest standard that we have had delivered by a high school club. So many thanks for their dedication and attention to details.” Less than a week later, Martha’s Kitchen reached out again inviting the school to participate in the competition. Several high schools, including Belarmine, Presentation, St. Francis, Valley Christian and Notre Dame, will also participate. The competition operates with a points system, with different point values attributed to different actions. A website will be updated weekly monitoring each school’s progress, and the one with the most points at the end of the month will be declared the winner. The month will include an array of opportunities for the school to rack up points. Food donations are four points per pound. There will be a food drive with containers placed near the front of the school at the foyer of the gym, the McAfee Center and the music building. A food list will be sent out for shelf safe items such as rice, beans, cereal, canned fruit, vegetables and pasta to help students find suitable donations. Eight points are awarded for each hour of community service. LEO Club president Christina Chang, a senior, and Hunger at Home Club president Sam Bai, a junior, plan to host two on-campus events to bolster student engagement. One will be a PB&J sandwich packaging event much like one LEO Club previously hosted in January. Another will be to decorate meal service bags with positive messages. Monetary donations are also accepted at one point per dollar. To promote the competition, marketing will be directed toward freshmen in the school’s Health and Driver’s Education program — a course that requires students to get involved in community service efforts. Additional volunteer shifts have been created for the month in light of the school competition; students may sign up to volunteer during the first week, second week, third week or fourth week of April. There will also be school-specific QR codes placed around campus for sign-ups. “We are really excited to participate in friendly competition with other schools since all the work is toward a great cause,” junior LEO Club vice president Naina Tallak said. While most volunteering shifts are two hours, morning shifts are three hours and volunteering is mostly indoors, aside from distribution which occurs outdoors. To ensure the distribution is sanitary, masks, aprons, hairnets and gloves will be provided. To facilitate transportation, school administrators Matt Torrens and Kristen Cunningham will drive vans to bring students to Martha’s Kitchen in groups over Spring Break. While the final reward is still to be determined, Martha’s Kitchen has suggested the school that wins may receive a certificate and have the school mascot printed on their vans. The clubs are excited for the upcoming month-long event, and hope to garner student involvement and support. “Food is something that brings people together to share and enjoy, and we think it’s important that everyone has the opportunity to unite in this feeling,” Tallak said. 3 views this weekAbout the contributorsSanjoli GuptaSanjoli Gupta, Class of ‘24, is a News Editor of the 2023-24 Falcon staff. Previously, she was the School Scope Editor between 2022-23, Head Photographer between 2021-22 and Reporter and Layout Artist between 2020-21. She has attended the Stanford Daily Summer Journalism program as well as The School of The New York Times Inside the UN/Journalism/Law program where she interviewed a Holocaust survivor and learned about libel. She has won a Silver Key in Scholastic Art and Writing for her feature story on being both South Asian and Christian. Some topics she has previously covered include bioethics, intimidation, future professions and religion. Some things she enjoys outside journalism include reading, baking and photography.