JROTC Food Drive – What is it for?


Omar Sigala, Website Manager

Here in the cafeteria of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Young Men’s Leadership Academy, there are four cardboard boxes. Boxes that are making a difference. The JROTC program at YMLA is hosting a food drive to get resources to those in need. Students are encouraged to donate, keeping those in greater need in mind.

The goal of the food drive is to “be our brother’s keeper, and give back to our community” according to Lieutenant Colonel Murphy, a veteran who is currently one of the two JROTC instructors here at Young Men’s Leadership Academy.

Before the pandemic that stuck in early 2020, many people had a sense of security. For some, it was easy to overcome the scarcity of food and toiletries that the pandemic brought with it. But for others, it was a treacherous battle. Many people lost that sense of security, and much more, some lost everything. As a result, you now see homelessness all throughout the city of Fort Worth, even in places that it was never seen before. From North Richland Hills to the Forest Hill area.

Photo Captured by Omar Sigla of Cadet Brendon Curley standing next to the 4 boxes in the cafeteria

The four boxes, mentioned earlier, are meant to separate the student-led tribes and prides at this school. JROTC Cadet, Brendon Curley, the individual responsible for the food drive, has tracked how much each tribe/pride is donating. At the end of each month, the boxes are collected and weighed, said information is then recorded and the winners for the most donated in that month are announced soon after. Students in the winning pride/tribe are rewarded for their acts of service to the community by receiving two days of free dress the following month.

Every pound of food donated goes directly to the Tarrant Area Food Bank to be distributed at a later time/date. For the month of September, it was reported that the students of YMLA donated 254 pounds of food. The pride of Sugihara and the class of 2024 came in first place with 150 pounds of food donated, second, came the pride of Einstein and the class of 2022 with 60 pounds of food donated, third came the pride of Dunbar and the class of 2023 with 24 pounds of food donated, and lastly, the class of 2025 with 20 pounds of food donated.

Thanks to all the donations from the student body at YMLA, we have made an impact in our community. Give back to your community, for you never know who’s the life you can change with just a can of Campbell’s soup.