This is the season when schools across Cobb take extra steps to collect food for those in need. One of those schools is Hillgrove High School that once again went above and beyond to collect food for those in need beyond the borders of the county.

The Hillgrove Marching Band raised over $20,000 in one month — double their goal — to feed the hungry in the Cobb community and in the nation of Haiti.

“Our ‘Marching Out Hunger’ initiative is in its third year and has proven wildly successful. Using the funds raised, we pack meals together in a team-building event and deliver those meals to our’ family’ at Compton and Hollydale Elementary Schools,” said Patrick Erwin, director of Bands at Hillgrove High School. “We visit schools to feed the students’ mouths with food but also to feed their souls with a human connection.”

The Hillgrove Band family packed 5,000 meals this year. Hillgrove earmarked 2,000 meals for the Powder Springs community at Hollydale and Compton elementary schools. The other 3,000 meals are being sent to feed the hungry in Haiti.

“We are in a place at Hillgrove where we are fortunate to have plenty,” said Chaz Bush, Hillgrove senior and band president. “It’s important to bring what resources we can to those in need because it raises their quality of life. Their success is our success. Eventually, if you do enough good, it comes back to you.”

The marching band students recently delivered the meals to students at Compton and Hollydale. While at the school, the high school students visited with students at recess.

“It was fun to see how happy the kids got when we were there playing with them, talking to them, and giving them food,” said Diego Falquero, a Hillgrove senior and trumpet player that helped deliver the food to the elementary students.

Hillgrove alumnus Nathan Jones started the Marching Out Hunger initiative to bring his fellow student musicians together to do more than just the band. The program allows students to extend their bond beyond the band family and uses music to help those in need in our community and beyond.

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