Food drive provides meals, holiday cheer

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Photo Annemarie Wood

Karthik Yalala, Staff Writer

The student council holds an annual food drive at the brink of the holiday season, helping out local food pantries.

This year the student council is assisting the Northborough and Southborough food pantries.

Student Council adviser John Barry believes that the food drive is a necessity for families who don’t have the financial means to afford the expenses of the holidays.

“We’re trying to provide a dinner for the holiday while at the same time trying to boost their other staples,” Barry said.

“It feels nice to help people in need there. We enjoy helping out the food pantries–it’s a lot of fun,” freshman class president David Gillingham said.

Senior class president Laura Shi has been coordinating the food drives for the past two years, frequently with the Southborough food pantry.

“We took funds that we collected for the food drive and we actually went out to purchase the requested food for the Southborough food pantry and we enjoyed doing that,” Shi said. “I think they really appreciated that and it’s really rewarding.”

A new addition to the food drive is that teachers can now adopt a family in need. Instead of students donating money to the pantry, the money will go straight to the family that the student’s teacher has adopted.

“I think it’s a really great change from what we’ve done in the past because it’s more personal this way,” senior Jessica Yin, president of student council, said.

Barry believes that the community at large often does not recognize the importance of the holiday food drive for the Northborough and Southborough district.

Barry points out that although there are families in need in Northborough and Southborough, it isn’t something that most people take into consideration in their day-to-day lives.

“If you ask a Northborough or Southborough kid ‘Is there need for food pantries in town?’ they will say yes,” Barry said. “Are there food-deficient families in town? They will say yes, but they don’t think about it. They’ll say to themselves: ‘Chances are, there are [needy families].’ Then they go about their business.”

According to Barry, the food drive helps the student council learn more about how people in their town need help. Student council members talk to food pantry managers, they shop for goods, then they deliver the food, and ultimately see how the food pantry works.

In our towns, the number of needy families has grown, according to the Northborough and Southborough food pantries.

“I’m saddened that we have to do a food drive of this magnitude for our towns,” Barry said. “This is a food drive that you have to really feel badly about because we always knew that there were families that made good use of the Northborough food pantry but we never ever saw them rise to triple digits–a hundred families that were accessing the Northborough food pantry.”

“I think it’s great to benefit the neighboring communities because people don’t really understand how much is needed in this area,” Shi said.