De Smet Jesuit Wins $45,000 in Great Ignatian Challenge Food Drive Competition

De Smet Jesuit Wins $45,000 in Great Ignatian Challenge Food Drive Competition
Debbie Higgins

De Smet Jesuit High School has earned fifth place for its successful food collection drive as part of the Great Ignatian Challenge during the month of November. The Spartans competed against 17 other Jesuit schools nationwide to bring in the most pounds of food per student and earn scholarship dollars. The fifth-place win ($30,000), combined with a “Best PR Effort” award ($15,000), has earned $45,000 for De Smet Jesuit’s scholarship fund.

The Spartans collected 11 tons of food, equal to 37 pounds per student, for St. Patrick Center at a time when food pantry shelves were bare. It was the single largest food donation in St. Patrick Center’s history. 

The “Best PR Effort” award brought in bonus dollars for scholarships. It was presented to De Smet for a promotional campaign that included a compelling original video and collection of testimonials created by AP English students and members of De Smet Jesuit’s digital media class. View the video and testimonials here

The Great Ignatian Challenge was initiated by Jim Rowen, an alumnus of Fordham Preparatory School (NY) in 2016. It is named for St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. Inspired by the Jesuit mission of becoming “women and men for others,” the Challenge highlights the collective service power and generosity among Jesuit high schools. In support of the students’ efforts, Rowen has given more than $2,340,000 toward scholarship funds for students at participating institutions. Since the Challenge began in 2016, participating schools have collectively amassed more than 1.45 million pounds of food. 

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