Math department wraps up annual cereal drive

Senior estimates more than 1,500 boxes were donated


Nick Bozzell-Levine

Boxes of cereal await delivery to local agencies.

Nick Bozzelli-Levine, Reporter

After a week of scurried frenzy in the math hallways, where students rushed to drop off their donations, a variety of goods ranging from delectable Pop-Tarts to slightly more healthy Cheerios to nostalgia-inducing Froot Loops to the fiber-rich, sugar-coated Mini Wheats, the Hill’s cereal drive is over. 

According to senior Madison Ackley, who helped orchestrate the whole thing, it was a great success, something she hopes and expects will live on for many years to come. 

While some of the underclassmen may not be familiar with the drive, as it didn’t occur last spring for obvious reasons, it’s a Cathedral tradition. Math teachers collect cereal boxes from students in exchange for a little extra credit, and the food is donated to people and organizations that need them the most. 

When Ackley first heard about the opportunity, she jumped in to help.

“My math teacher was just casually talking to me about how there was usually an extra credit opportunity that didn’t happen last year, and it could happen this year, so I volunteered to do it,” she said. Once she agreed to help, she began contacting people and got to work. “First thing I did was find some people who could support me and back me up. Then I talked to (math teacher) Mrs. (Lisa) Ford, and (she) had a template and a game plan,” Ackley said. “She worked with the math teachers and made sure they counted the cereal. All I did was collect it and figure out transportation.”

The project evolved over time, Ackley explained. “Originally, I had friends and family helping me transport and collect the cereal, then a Cathedral alum (Mr. Jim Kane ‘83), actually volunteered his pickup truck and his time to collect the donations and transport them all the way to St. Vincent de Paul for me,” she said. “He took the first Friday and the Wednesday collection. Then (on) the last day, Cathedral’s maintenance team actually took it to Dayspring in their pickup truck.”

In addition to Dayspring and St. Vincent de Paul, cereal boxes were sent to Mid-North food pantry, and Pop-Tarts were sent to St. Nick’s Nook, right here on the Hill, as they “are easy to grab on the go,” Ackley said.

Ackley said she could measure the donations in Ram 1500s, of which she was able to garner four truckloads’ worth. She estimated that the drive collected around 1,500 boxes, a feat Ackley for which she said she is both proud and grateful. 

While she suggested that the drive take place earlier in the year closer to Winterfest when it used to occur, she was happy with this year’s results. She cited the school as a key driver of those results. “I feel like the community support was a huge benefit and made it go really smoothly,” Ackley said. “I had alumni. I had the maintenance team. I had the entire math department. I would (also) like to express my appreciation for all the students who did participate, because people donated cereal a little bit for the extra credit and a lot just out of goodness.”

Ackley said she hopes other students will carry on the torch of service for the school and the greater community of need, noting her joy at the various opportunities provided here. “I’m very glad that Cathedral has so many drives, the canned food drive, the cereal drive, the HER drive, there’s just so many things going on all the time,” she said.

She passed on her advice to future student servants, “It just felt like an important day to spend my time,” Ackley said.