Hunger Doesn’t Vacation

Erin Byrnes, Staff Writer

While breaks from school can be fun and relaxing, some families may struggle to provide enough food and snacks for their children throughout the break. This leaves them without access to food throughout school breaks. However, a new program was launched by the FHS Wellness Committee this year: Hunger Doesn’t Vacation. For each month, students and teachers are asked to support each other by donating two specific food items and, before vacation, the food is packaged and given to families in need. With this, all of our classmates will have access to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks. This leaves them only having to purchase bread and milk.

Hunger Doesn’t Vacation was inspired by a Superintendent’s Conference Day. Those who attended had to, as she explains, “Participate in a poverty simulation. It was very moving and motivating.” After the experience, members of the Wellness Committee, students and teachers alike, decided to start the “Hunger Doesn’t Vacation” food drive to support our fellow Farmingdale families going through hard times.  The drive began in September 2016 and has expanded to all seven schools in the district. In total, “We have collected 575 boxes of pasta and jars of sauce, 704 boxes of cereal and oatmeal, 828 cans of soup and boxes of crackers,” Ms. DePierro explains.

Every Friday, student volunteers come to organize the pantry containing the food, and in addition to this, package boxes of donated food.  The food is then distributed by the social workers to Farmingdale families, providing them with enough to eat for the weekend, when the school cafeterias are closed. Along with weekends, boxes are also available for delivery (or to be picked up at the school) during vacations.

This charitable food drive is extremely important to not only the high school, but the entire community. Every month, different clubs throughout the school take the time to run the drive- here at The Paper Lion, we are in charge of March, which is pancake mix and syrup month. This food drive is drastically different than others, in that it is run by multiple clubs, and is a school-wide effort. This has been the major reason the program has been such a success: we are all working together as a community.