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The Great Ignatian Challenge

Give to the Great Ignatian Challenge

Nine Jesuit high schools from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania announced the launch of The Great Ignatian Challenge, an annual Thanksgiving food drive to raise awareness of hunger in our communities, collect food for our neighbors in need, and win money towards tuition assistance for our students in need thanks to a generous donor. Fordham Prep is proud to participate in the effort.

Nine Jesuit High Schools from four states – New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania – have announced the launch of the fifth annual Great Ignatian Challenge, an annual holiday food drive competition intended to raise the students’ awareness of hunger and inspire them to take action by working to fill their local food banks, pantries, and community centers with tens of thousands of pounds of much-needed provisions. This friendly but spirited competition will run from November 2 through November 25. 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!

Jim Rowen '82 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 the participating schools are Fairfield College Preparatory School (Fairfield, CT) Fordham Preparatory School (The Bronx); Loyola School (Manhattan); Regis High School (Manhattan), Saint Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, NJ); Xavier High School (Manhattan); McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, NY); Canisius High School (Buffalo); and St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, PA). The schools are sponsored by the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the Challenge derives its name from the 16th-century saint, Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, who taught, "Love consists of sharing what one has and what one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words."  

A key component of a Jesuit education is caring for the wider community which allows students to gain first-hand knowledge of local, national, and global issues. Through service to the community, the students prepare for the day when they will participate in their world as competent, concerned, and responsible members who are committed to social justice.

Past Years

2019 - Great Ignatian Challenge Collects Nearly 68 Tons of Food