Afternoon Program Food Initiative Begins in October
In a joint and all-school effort, the afternoon programs of Athletics, Community Service and Performing and Visual Arts begin working on local food insecurity this month, following the successful Three Squares Ride for Food on Sept. 15 which earned $113,000 for eight local food pantries. This ride, sponsored by Ripples of Hope (ripplesof hope.org) and hosted by Nobles kicked off the year long theme of collaborative service efforts to come.
It might be surprising to some that nearby towns and cities are struggling to collect enough food to distribute to needy families. But the facts are these:
* Food insecurity rate in Massachussetts has risen by 43% since the start of the recession in 2008.
* It is the highest rate recorded in the Commonwealth since 1995.
* Food insecurity reflects the widening gap between high and low wage earners in our state.
Nobles has committed itself to partnering with the local food efforts to meet these goals:
1) We will provide help in the short term to alleviate hunger. Our goal is 75,000 pounds of food by June!
2) We will invest in and help to strengthen the community involvment by our school
3) We will learn how to provide solutions for the long term sustainability of food security
Planning for this year began with Athletics and Service early this summer. The plan is both aspirational and practical. During the sports season, students will concentrate for one week on collecting healthy food which they will bring to school and place in mail bins in the main lobby near Lawrence auditorium, or the Middle School forum. The afternoon program service and Empty Bowls art students will then transport the food to local pantries.
The Performing Arts department has offered to collect food at their performances as well. The weeks of collection are as follows:
Middle School: Sept. 30-Oct 4.
Varsity: Oct 21-25 Sub varsity: Nov. 4-8.
Alex Gallagher, Athletic Director noted "The #AllDawgsGottaEat" initiative is a wonderful way to for every facet of the Afternoon program to work together on a mission drive project. We feel fortunate that we have the opportunity to make a difference for these phenomenal Food Pantries."
You can help your child to participate in this major effort by talking with them about their collection. You can also let neighbors and family, church members and others know about what your child is doing. Each student will have a flyer from their coach about the food needed by the pantry they are supporting. Gentle reminders to collect the food and get it to school in the bin provided will help your son or daughter be a part of this great event.
This major focus will be in addition to the many other efforts students and faculty already perform during the year. Many opportunities to serve our communities occur through clubs and organizations, the Community Service Board, Graduate Council Initiatives and classes.
The most recent of these found 9 student volunteers accompanying Linda Hurley and Parent Mary Tedesco to Needham to the Ellie Bloom Special Olympics. The participation in the Olympics was the initial event of a further partnership with the Charles River Center. Their mission is to enhance the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities. Some of our students are already very interested in this idea and enthusiastically took part in this event. Bryan Huynh has been very interested in getting this program going at Nobles, and this event was a great start.
Please check weekly emails from Judith Merritt for announcements of further opportunities to participate and support service initiatives.