HOLA Colecta de Alimentos Fills Food Pantry

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From March 19th to the 23rd, as cans of food piled up in the atrium the week of the HOLA food drive, it was obvious that Friar Nation had come out in full force to support the drive. This was HOLA’s fourth annual food drive, and appears to be the biggest one yet. While last year’s drive collected over $10,000 worth of food, it appears that even more food was collected this year.
During the week-long period of the drive, teachers and faculty helped to promote it and spread the word. To encourage even more support than last year, many teachers offered incentives in the form of extra credit or treats for donations. Ms. Carraher’s well-known requirement of 10 items brought in its usual slew of food, and other teachers such as Brother Trout offered to bake cupcakes for whichever of his classes had the highest number of participants. While the incentives motivated some students to bring in donations, many students brought in more items than the requirement. HOLA wants to thank all of the teachers who helped promote the drive and encouraged donations. As the food gathered in the atrium, HOLA members handed out receipts and organized the food for the trip to St. Pius the following Saturday.
Joined by Father Dennis, who once worked as the associate pastor as St. Pius, and Ms. Gallinari, HOLA’s faculty sponsor and members gathered Saturday morning to load the bus with the donations. The members were greeted by the boys varsity tennis team, whose members all contributed additional donations, another example of Friars being willing to help those in need. Due to the momentus amount of donations, it took more than an hour to pack and organize all of the food on the nearly-full bus. After loading, the members took the trip to St. Pius in Pilsen, where they unpacked the food and grouped it. It was an incredible feeling to know that the mountain of food stacked on the tables would be going to people in need in the Pilsen community. Every single item that was donated will be used and valued, no matter how small a donation it seemed when made.
After sorting the food and packaging some of it to be distributed, the members prepared to serve a hot lunch to the people who came to the pantry. While it was clear that some of those in need were unwilling to talk, many people were willing to look their servers in the eye and thank them for their meal. Although they did not seem to know about the donations that the HOLA members brought, they were simply grateful that someone took the time to serve them and greet them. Seeing the men and women who come in, some dressed in improper clothing for the chilly winter was an eye-opening experience.
Last year’s food drive provided enough food for the pantry for three months, and this drive brought in even more. The continued and greater input from Friar Nation is what made the drive such a success. HOLA would like to extend its deepest gratitude to all those who made this food drive possible. HOLA secretary Maria Castellanos comments “[The food drive] is an incredible feat that would not have been possible without the assistance of everyone within the Fenwick community. The generous support at our high school will help those most in need.” The contribution that Friar Nation made to St. Pius will be appreciated for months to come. It took the generous support of the whole school to make this possible, and HOLA hopes next year’s food drive will continue the trend of generous giving.

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