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The Great Ignatian Challenge

Fifteen Jesuit high schools from seven states – New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia - have announced the launch of the sixth 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 October 18 through November 24. Last year, the schools participating in The Great Ignatian Challenge collected and distributed over 168,372 pounds of food. Over the past five years, The Great Ignatian Challenge has collected and distributed over 302 TONS of food!

Fordham Prep alumnus, Jim Rowen, will once again personally pledge $450,000 to support the schools’ efforts. The fifteen schools will compete for tiered awards based on criteria identified by Mr. Rowen, including the most amount of food collected per student.  This year, monies will go towards supporting financial assistance programs and endowments at the participating 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 $1,300,000 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.


Schools Participating

         Boston College                     Canisius                           Cheverus              Fairfield College Prep          Fordham PreP        

      Georgetown Prep                     Gonzaga                  Loyola (Manhattan)     Loyola (Blakefield)             McQuaid Jesuit      

             Regis                     St. Joseph's Prep               St. Peter's Prep                  Scranton Prep                        Xavier      


The schools are all 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

2020 - Record Breaking Great Ignatian Challenge Collects 84 Tons of Food  

2019 - Great Ignatian Challenge Collects Nearly 68 Tons of Food