Wayland wins canned food drive for seventh consecutive year


Dani Fischer

Carrying boxes of food raised in the annual history canned food drive, seniors Bailey Silva and Chris Kastberg add to the growing pile of over 3,500 cans. “It’s really important to help other people who might have less than we do. Bringing in a few cans seems like a really small thing but it can add up and do a lot to help other people,” Silva said.

Standing in the main foyer surrounded by 3,768 cans of food, social studies teachers Jeffrey Chazen and Annie Wayland direct students on how to stack the remaining cases. The next morning, volunteers from Parkway’s Food Pantry will be arriving at school to pick up all the donations; for now, the teachers revel in the victory of this year’s canned food drive.

“How am I feeling right now? I’m kind of feeling like Charlie Brown in the annual cartoon where Lucy keeps pulling the ball away from him,” Chazen said. “Even though I feel like every year I have a chance, every year Wayland beats me.”

Each year around the holiday season, Wayland and Chazen compete to see who can collect the most canned food. This includes spectacles like Government teacher Melvin Trotier playing guitar in the hallway and a giant can-counter in the middle of the social studies hallway that is slowly filled in over the course of the week. Wayland won for the seventh year in a row with 1,080 more cans than Chazen, coming in at a final tally of 2,424.

“Chazen’s been trying really hard to win this year. He started hyping [the drive] up a few weeks ago,” senior Bailey Silva said.

The teachers “draft” other social studies teachers onto their teams, then employ their own secret strategies to win.

“I’m just going to say that I lose, and I lose every year, and I can accept that. But I’m not going to go into strategies right now,” Chazen said, eyeing a laughing Wayland next to him. “There’s always hope. One year I will win, and we’ll throw the grandest of parties.”