Fall is upon us, Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means it’s time for our annual Thanksgiving food drive! And once again we’ll be engaging in friendly competition with other Jesuit high schools in The Great Ignatian Challenge!

Through November 25, students (along with parents, faculty, staff, and alumni!) from Prep, Xavier High School, Loyola School, Regis High School, Fordham Prep, Fairfield Prep, Saint Joseph’s Prep, Canisus High School, and McQuaid Jesuit High School will compete to raise the most food donations for a food bank of their choice. This year, Prep is collecting donations for St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church and the Saint Peter’s University Campus Kitchen, both in Jersey City. Prep has set a goal of 20,000 pounds of food donations for this year’s challenge.

Last year, the schools participating in The Great Ignatian Challenge collected and distributed over 137,632 pounds of food. Over the past four years, The Great Ignatian Challenge has collected and distributed 218 tons of food!

Fordham Prep alum, Jim Rowen, will once again personally pledge $250,000 to support the schools’ efforts. The nine schools will compete for tiered awards based on criteria identified by Mr. Rowen, including the most amount of food collected per student.  While in prior years the monies have been allocated to supporting financial assistance programs, this year Mr. Rowen has asked that the awards be applied towards offsetting Covid-19 related expenses incurred by each of the schools. Inspired by the commitment to social justice and service to the community that lies at the heart of Jesuit education, Mr. Rowen has generously donated more than $1,100,000 towards the Great Ignatian Challenge competitions over the last five years. His desire is to open this competition up to even more schools next year.  

This year, we will collect donations online through our YouGiveGoods Great Ignatian Challenge page. YouGiveGoods will deliver the donations directly to the organizationss.