Last month, Second Harvest opened its doors to one of its favorite groups of visitors: the 2nd and 3rd graders from Delphi Academy in Campbell. This year marked the 22nd time Delphi Academy has run a food drive benefiting Second Harvest. The students came to our Cypress Center on a rainy day to drop off all their donations and take a tour of the food bank.

The rain didn’t stop the Delphi Academy Campbell 2nd and 3rd graders from coming to Second Harvest to donate all the food collected during their food drive!

This year, Delphi Academy Campbell achieved their highest number of food items ever. Their target was 1,000 items, and they exceeded 2,000!

The Delphi Academy students estimated they brought in 1,600 pounds of food… and after checking, they actually brought in 2,000 pounds, which will help Second Harvest provide over 50,000 meals!

The Delphi Academy students with some of their donations

We chatted with Ms. Victoria, Delphi Academy Campbell’s 3rd grade teacher who started the school’s food drive tradition, and Kimi de Leonibus, Associate Headmistress, to learn more.

Can you tell us a little bit about Delphi Academy?

Kimi: Delphi Academy is a K-8, non-profit private school that has been educating children in the Bay Area since 1986. Our school logo features four points: Knowledge, Leadership, Ethics and Integrity. Whether students are learning in the classroom, science lab, art studio or out on a field trip or project, we aim for them to include these points in their learning experience. Community service is one excellent way for students to grow and develop their own sense of responsibility for their community. All the skills that go into creating a food drive — such as encouraging others to participate, gathering and delivering the food, and understanding what happens to the donation at Second Harvest — all help students build new skills in leadership, organization, collaboration and communication. They also come to realize what a difference they can make for others, even at a young age. It is part of Delphi’s philosophy to build students’ competence and confidence through meaningful educational activities that will help them develop all the points of our logo.

The students hauling in the abundant amounts of donated food

When did you first hear about Second Harvest?

Victoria: 22 years ago, my son’s third grade teacher at Delphi asked for a parent volunteer to head up the very first food drive for the school. Guess who volunteered!

When did you start doing food drives for Second Harvest?

Victoria: 1996 was my first food drive and I helped as a parent. By 1998, I had joined Delphi as a teacher myself and have continued the tradition since.

What is your best memory of a food drive?

Victoria: One year (2000), my whole class was allowed to stand on the giant scale and they were thrilled to find that they had brought in more food (in weight) than the total weight of the entire class. It became a tradition from then on to estimate the weight of our donation and the weight of our class. We always set a target of donating more than the total class weight.

How do the children respond to being part of the food drive?

Victoria: Overwhelmingly enthusiastically. They nag their parents, beat every target that they set, use their own money and even try to put items from their own lunch boxes into the pile!

Ms. Victoria (left) must be thinking that teamwork makes the dream work!

What do you like about Second Harvest?

Kimi: I love the purpose of Second Harvest, to help local people in our own community with food, and the people of Second Harvest, who have uniformly been kind, capable and passionate about their work. When the kids bring the food and tour the facility, they meet community-oriented, professional and caring adults who set a great example and whose commitment shows. We have always been able to count on an excellent growing experience for the students, and it really opens their eyes to what it takes to provide food for so many. I also appreciate that Second Harvest is very clean and organized. Even the loading docks are spotless! The students see a non-profit that is successfully living up to its mission, engaging many community volunteers and doing so in a professional and ethical manner.

Entering our freezer room was probably one of the students’ highlights!

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Kimi: This year we’ve had a huge response from several classes who have been very inspired to contribute. The kindergarten students have all their donations on display with their names placed above their food. The 2nd grade classroom has doubled, then tripled their goal! Ms. Victoria is considering bringing them along to Second Harvest to acknowledge their tremendous contribution.

Some of the 2,000 pounds of food donated by the Delphi Academy Campbell students!

Thank you so much Delphi Academy Campbell for an incredible Food Drive!