The Great Ignatian Challenge is an annual Thanksgiving Food Drive competition intended to raise students’ awareness of hunger and inspire them to take action by working to fill their local food banks and community centers with thousands of pounds of much-needed provisions. This friendly but spirited competition ran from October 19 through November 24. Twenty-two Catholic high schools participated from 12 states – New York, Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
The Student Government at Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, MD encouraged the students, parents, faculty, and alumni to donate food. The school collected 38,829 pounds (77 pounds per student) of food which was then donated to a local food bank, Manna Food Center. Manna strives to fight hunger in Montgomery County. Manna had to send three trucks to Georgetown Prep to collect all the food!
The 22 schools participating in The Great Ignatian Challenge collected and distributed over 772,000 pounds of food. Georgetown Prep placed 5th overall in the Challenge – the school’s highest-ever finish! This is also the second consecutive year that Prep won the award for “most improved donations.”
Over the past eight years, The Great Ignatian Challenge has collected and distributed over 1.8 million pounds of food! The majority of these schools are sponsored by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The Challenge derives its name from the 16th-century saint, Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, who taught, "Love consists of sharing what one has and what one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words."
Student Government moderators and food drive coordinators Ms. Bonnie Bai and Mr. Brian Dybicz thank everyone who helped make the food drive a smashing success and said “the Prep communities generosity has helped our brothers and sisters in Montgomery County who struggle from food insecurity. Let us recall that the Gospel compels us to work for a more just and loving world. And let us strive to always carry the words of Saint Ignatius Loyola in our hearts: Lord, teach me to be generous.”