BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–As the holiday season approaches, local organizations are starting to hold food drives to help fight food insecurity throughout our community–and this past week Canisius High School students are helping.

“One of our large teachings here is giving back and doing things for the greater glory of god, and this is a very good demonstration of that.” Shafay Shahsad, a senior at Canisius said.

The food drive is a tradition that organizer David Hayes remembers participating in when he was a teen at Canisius decades ago.

“It’s another opportunity for our kids to demonstrate their leadership and the character education we push here.” said David Hayes, a History teacher at Canisius High School that organized the drive. “We really want them to become men for others and to go out into the community and live that mission. The food drive is a great way to do it.”

The drive started on Wednesday, Nov. 2nd and wraps up on Thursday, Nov. 10th. So far, the school has collected more than 6,000 pounds of food and thousands of dollars to purchase even more food, and they expect to raise more than 12,000 pounds of food by the end of the drive.

“It’s really central to what we strive to be here. We strive to be a great school, sending kids to great colleges but service is so much of what we do as a Jesuit institution, part of Jesuit education, so the food drive just fits right into that.” said Keith McShea, Canisius High School’s Communications Director.

Though the food drive has been a school tradition for decades, this is the third year that they participated in the Great Ignatian Challenge, that almost 20 schools on the East Coast are a part of, hosting Thanksgiving food drives.

Food collected in the drive will go directly to St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy and East Buffalo’s Matt Urban Center. Though the drive wraps up Thursday at 3pm, the school will continue to accept donations, both food and monetary. They are accepting donations at 1180 Delaware Avenue. To drop off donations, call their main office at (716) 882-0466.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.