EDITORIAL: A heavy lesson

From the Quad-City Times Editorial Board

More powerful than a locomotive. That Superman-esque achievement also works for Quad-City high school students, whose 347 tons of food collected this year exceed the weight of two locomotives.

Picture a convoy of 100 full-sized Hummer H2s. Heavy, but not as heavy as the results of this year’s Student Food Drive.

This year’s total is shy of a record, but no less impressive to us. Year after year, these amazingly energetic kids collect well over 300 tons of food. And these students get more inventive each year.

Even as this food is delivered to the tables of Quad-Citians, Davenport West students will be working to pay off a debt to their neighborhood Hy-Vee store, which donated 1,000 pounds of food in exchange for student work hours.

Enthusiastic Alleman students topped all divisions with 159,513 pounds, enough to sink their collection trailer deep enough into the parking lot asphalt they needed special help to pull it out.

Load up the entire 2009 student food drive bounty and you’d need at least eight, full-sized semi-trucks, each packed to the heaviest weight limit allowed by federal law on U.S. interstates.

The haul is huge by any measure, save one. About the only thing bigger is Quad-Citians need. The 693,871 pounds collected by these amazing students equal the weight of about two months worth of food distributed by the River Bend Foodbank.

Imagine what would happen in our community if these students had just hung out, played video games or indulged any of the self-centered stereotypes often associated with teens.

This year, like every year since 1986, Quad-City students buried those inaccurate stereotypes beneath an avalanche of food, care and compassion.

Now that’s heavy.

Student Food Drive math problem

Q:The 2009 Student Food Drive collected 693,871 pounds, or 347 tons. The River Bend Foodbank each year distributes 4.7 million pounds, or 2,350 tons

What percentage of River Bend’s annual distribution is collected by students?

A: 14.7 percent