A Murphy Family Thanksgiving Tradition

At 7 years old, Ian Murphy told his family he wanted to run his first food drive. Today, at 22, his food drive tradition continues to thrive. Murphy is now a Senior at Miami University in Ohio. He, along with his family, have now hosted the drive for the past 15 years.  

Young Ian started his food drive after learning about hunger in our community. He explained that “[he’d] always known that Northern Virginia was a pretty prosperous region” and that, after learning about hunger in the region, “[he] was struck by the realization that a lot of people don’t live that reality.” Since 2008, Murphy’s first drive, his food drive has grown its reach.

For the past 5 years, Ian has collected food through a neighborhood canvas. He and his family put up fliers around their community. He’s also created a website and Facebook page for the drive. He explained that the increased online presence “made [the drive] feel more real and professional.” He’s been excited over the years to see repeat donors and is “proud of the milestones” the drive has experienced. Murphy also shared that he’s enjoyed seeing his younger sister get more involved; “Another development I’m proud of is my sister. As she got older, she been able to help more and get her friends involved.” Keira, his younger sister, was only 4 when Murphy started the drive. She’s now a Freshman at the University of Washington. While Murphy was in college, Keira took on additional responsibility with the drive to ensure it continued.  

The food drive peaked in 2020, reaching a total of 930 lbs of food. Since 2009, the drive has raised a grand total of 6,311 lbs. That’s 7,573.2 meals. Murphy looks forward to continuing the drive over the years. He expressed that “[he] likes the tradition of it,” explaining that “[he’s] of the mentality that [he] enjoys helping out in this way.” He hopes that people unsure of how they can help work against food insecurity will see through his drive “that someone involved in other things in life can do this.” Murphy is proud that the drive is “entirely self-run” and is happy to have helped serve many families experiencing food insecurity over the years.