The participating Jesuit high schools included Fairfield Prep (Fairfield, CT); Fordham Preparatory School (The Bronx); Loyola School (Manhattan); Regis High School (Manhattan), Saint Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, NJ); and Xavier High School (Manhattan). The Challenge derives its name from the 16th-century saint, Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.
When the Great Ignatian Challenge was announced in November, a donor – now revealed to be Jim Rowen – initially pledged up to $250,000 for tuition assistance to be divided among the schools based on the amount of food collected per student, but increased the contribution to $300,000 after witnessing the generosity from the six schools. Mr. Rowen, who is the former Board Chair at Fordham Prep, said he was inspired by the existing Thanksgiving food drives at each school.
Mr. Rowen’s generous gift will be divided as follows:
Fordham Prep: $58,500
St. Peter’s Prep: $21,000
Fairfield Prep: $19,500
Mr. Rowen said, “When we are united by our Ignatian mission to help those less fortunate, that collaboration can achieve remarkable outcomes- addressing hunger for thousands is just one example.”
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, added his congratulations saying, “What these school have accomplished is no surprise at all! St. Ignatius Loyola asked the Jesuits he founded to form “men for others.” That’s what these students are – men and women for others! A blessed Thanksgiving indeed!”
Loyola School donated the nearly 18,700 pounds of food collected to City Harvest.
Regis High School donated close to 18,500 pounds of food to the New York Common Pantry and the Jan Hus Urban Outreach Program.
Fordham Prep benefitted Concourse House, Mercy Center, OLA Helping Hands Food Pantry, Part of the Solution (P.O.T.S.), and St. Catherine of Siena Outreach benefitted with over 32,660 pounds of food.
Xavier High School provided the Xavier Mission of the Church of St. Francis Xavier with more than 12,500 pounds of food for the holiday and beyond.
Saint Peter’s Prep stocked the shelves of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Jersey City with almost 10,800 pounds of food.
Fairfield Prep donated to Blessed Sacrament Food Pantry (Bridgeport, CT), Action for Bridgeport Community Development Inc. (ABCD), and Operation Hope CT over 9,250 pounds of food.
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.