Canned good drive collects donations


Jessica Salisbury, News Editor

In the Annandale area there are many people that take the things they have for granted, while others go home wondering if they will even have enough food to eat dinner at night. To help solve this problem the neighborhood resource center has opened a food pantry, along with its own goodwill to support students in need.

The food pantry first kicked off when Maya, a third grader, decided that rather than receiving presents for her birthday, she wanted collect for others who were less fortunate.

When a few of her friends, including third graders Keira, Eli and noah, first grader Jake, and Cooper a kindergartener, heard about her plan they decided to lend a hand and help her out as well. Her drive became very successful, she received many donations of canned goods, and donated them all to the food pantry.

The canned good drive that Maya started stuck, and continues to grow everyday.

Esol teacher Meredith Hedrick, who is one of the people in charge of the drive, says that she hopes for the canned good drive to stay open indefinitely. “Hopefully the drive continues to be sustainable so that we can continue to take donations weekly, year after year,” Hedrick said.

Most students on free and reduced meals get breakfast and lunch at school but don’t always have dinner when they get home or food to eat on the weekends. The drive is open to anyone who is in need of a healthy meal or nice clothes to wear.

Since families are encouraged to come in, the drive accepts donations of new or used clothes in all sizes including childrens clothes, teenager clothes and adult clothes. “We get a lot of Annandale shirts and even some sports equipment,” Hedrick said.

The donation room is set up and organized like a store, clothes are folded or hung up to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for in the correct size. “You want to be able to find your clothes quickly without having to dig around,” Hedrick said.

As for the food pantry, this is only the beginning. It will continue to expand and plans on getting bookcases to help sort and categorized the food into as more donations keep coming in. “We are probably going to organize the food into groups such as canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta, rice, oil, sugar and so on,” Hedrick said.

Students are not only encouraged to donate but to volunteer as well. Many volunteers can come in to help fold or sort clothes during W4 or after school in exchange for community service. Anyone who is interested in helping out can talk to Hedrick in M13.

Volunteering is a great way to show your support to your community along with putting a smile on someone else’s face who might be a little less fortunate than you. “I like to volunteer here because it gives me something to do with my spare time and I feel like I am giving back,”  volunteer Amanda DeLessio said .

According to Hedrick some students that arrive from other countries have nothing but a backpack and many of them really appreciate and take advantage of the donations that are brought in. If students know of any programs or churches that are looking for a place to donate they are encouraged to bring those donations to the drive as well.

“I think everyone feels good about having a chance to help someone else, and we can definitely see the students who are impacted by it,” Hedrick said.