DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — The annual food drive at high schools throughout Dearborn kicks off Sunday. This year the students have set their biggest goal yet.
It's typically a rivalry situation for the high schoolers in Dearborn but these teens have decided they want to take that friendly competition and turn it into a way to benefit their community.
"Last year we raised 12 tons worth of cans and those were to help the people in our community," said Aya Hammound, a Dearborn High School student.
Students at Deaborn, Fordson and Edsel Ford high schools are working to fix a need that's all too real in their classrooms.
"Fordson has 88% of our students rely on government assistance - so that's almost all of us," said Zeinab Alghanem.
And that's why these students decided to work together to make sure none of their classmates or any of their families have to worry about their next meal.
"This is kind of a personal thing, some of my closest friends don't have food over the weekend because the only meal they get is a school lunch so our community decided to come together to do this amazing project," said Atef Hachem, who attends Edsel Ford High School.
This is the fifth year for the food drive, which collects non-perishables for Zaman International. Money is also being raised for the Amity Foundation.
"It kind of removes the stigma in being in need - a lot of people like when we ask who needs the food, no one will say anything so it's a discrete delivery thing - we give them to these amazing local organizations that help deliver the stuff," Hachem said.
The stigma of food insecurity is not the only perception these high schoolers are working to change.
"We're not always on Snapchat or Instagram it really shows how all of us come together. 9:21:09 Kids are overlooked- we don't care, we don't do anything - we really do, we raised thousands of non perishable goods and thousands of dollars from our community," Hachem added.
But of course, it's still a competition. This year's goal is to collect 15 tons of food and these students take that very seriously.
"It's amazing we pile them up in a pyramid in the school and we count them after school and everyone was cheering like crazy it was amazing," Hachem said.