The Great Ignatian Challenge Results


And the Winners are … Local Food Banks & Charities That Received 334,421.56 Pounds of Food!

In an extraordinary show of generosity, school spirit and commitment to serving the community, fifteen (15) Eastern Jesuit high schools have concluded a friendly, but spirited holiday food drive competition collecting 334,421.56 pounds of food that are filling local food banks and pantries with much-needed provisions during the critical Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.   

Launched October 18 and ending November 24, the competition, called the Great Ignatian Challenge, included: 
The Challenge derives its name from the 16th-century saint, Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.  

The Great Ignatian Challenge was initiated by Jim Rowen (Fordham Prep ’82) in 2016. 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 $1,830,000 towards scholarship funds for students at these institutions. 

Rowen’s support, including more than $430,000 this year, is divided among the schools based on the amount of food collected per student.  He said, “St. Ignatius taught us that love speaks louder in deeds more than words. The students at these fifteen Jesuit schools embody Ignatian principles and beliefs.  I am inspired by their commitment to be women and men for others.”  

Since the Challenge began in 2016, the participating schools have collectively amassed over 937,000 pounds of food!  

The results of this year’s challenge are:
  • First Place: Scranton Preparatory School (Scranton, PA) – collected 109.1 pounds of food per student
  • Second Place: Loyola School (New York, NY) – collected 96.6 pounds of food per student
  • Third Place: Fordham Preparatory School (Bronx, NY) – collected 68.5 pounds of food per student
  • Best Public Relations Effort: Canisius High School (Buffalo, NY) & Scranton Preparatory School (Scranton, PA)
  • Biggest Year-Over-Year Increase: Regis High School (New York, NY) & McQuaid Jesuit High School (Rochester, NY)
A key component of a Jesuit education is community service, which allows students to gain first-hand knowledge of local, national, and global issues. Through service to the community, students participate in the world as competent, concerned and responsible members who are committed to social justice.
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