ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The student-led Blue Ridge Area Food Bank school food drive kicked off this week, and they're looking to collect over 11,000 pounds of food.

Emily Warren and Lily Stendig are members of Albemarle High School's Students Working Against Hunger, or SWAG, Club.

They're coordinating the drive and there's 30 participating schools.

Warren said March normally sees a slow in donations for food banks, and the recent decrease of SNAP benefits makes this an important drive.

The girls said they didn't fully understand how many people in the area face food insecurity, the statistic is one in 12, until they got to high school.

They said that's when they got involved.

"It's by students, for students. And that shows just how much of an impact kids can make in their community and we really want to keep that going," Warren said.

"There's a lack of awareness of where people can go and if you're struggling with this in high school it can have a really long-lasting effect on your health and that kind of thing. So, it's really good to spread the word and raise these donations," Stendig said.  

A food bank representative said when someone donates to a food drive, they think about what they want to see in their pantry, and that allows people who shop at food pantries to find culturally familiar items.

The drive goes until March 24 and each school has a donation bin in their lobby for non-perishable foods.