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Servant Leaders Among Students 

The 2019 Red Lake Food Drive is in full swing, serving as a way for RCS students to better the lives of children and families on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. RCS families from elementary through high school brought in groceries bags filled with canned and dry goods throughout Catholic Schools Week, resulting in seven pallets of food to be delivered to Red Lake.

As part of the RCS Day of Service on February 18, staff worked with student leaders of the Red Lake Food Drive to package and prepare the food for delivery. This was the first year staff and students were brought together for this project. One of the students noted that in previous years, packing up these donations would have taken three to four days, but with the help of the staff, it took only two hours.

In March, volunteers, families, and students plan to pack up a U-haul and drive over 300 miles to deliver the food to the reservation. The Minnesota Food Program will be matching donations again this year. 

The food drive came into existence in 2014 when Theresa Eckel, a former Lourdes High School student, was attending Sunday Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church. Fr. Jerry of St. Mary’s Mission School in Red Lake was visiting and gave the homily, delving into the impoverished life on the reservation. She knew the community needed to take action.  

This year’s student leaders are Dinah Tauferner, Catherine Patel, Andy Degnim, and Katie Virgin. Peter Walther is the student videographer who will be making a documentary about the mission this year. 

“We feel so lucky to have been able to lead this project and have an impact on others’ lives,” said Katie. “It has been an amazing opportunity to continue Theresa Eckel's legacy and unite the Lourdes community in service.”