On Friday, October 4, Nobles middle school students streamed to nine sites across Greater Boston for an annual day of service. This year’s focus was food insecurity, which they examined prior to their field work.
Students began the day by learning more about the crisis and watching a TEDx video, “The Shocking Truth About Food Insecurity,” which addresses its misconceptions, causes and solutions. Community Service Coordinator Linda Hurley said, “Studies show that growing into adulthood with a greater sense of social responsibility makes young people more likely to volunteer throughout their lives. Children develop compassion as they learn the value of giving to others. It enhances their emotional development and fosters socializing and communication skills.” While she shared that many non-profits have a volunteer age minimum of 16 for liability reasons, opportunities like this day of service are invaluable, because “the 12-year-olds are the ‘sponges’ that soak it all in.”
From organizations like feedingamerica.org, students learned that in Massachusetts, one in nine children struggles with hunger and can’t count on their next meal. With this in mind, all advisory groups rolled up their sleeves and headed to the following sites:
- Urban Farming Institute (Boston)
- Powissett Farm (Dover)
- Brookwood Farm (Canton)
- Father Bill’s Place (Quincy)/Paul Sullivan House (Jamaica Plain)
- Needham Farm
- Natick Farm
- Norwood Food Pantry
- Newton Farm
At the various farms, students and their advisors got right to work harvesting, weeding, organizing and preparing fields for fall.
Norwood Food Pantry volunteers sorted donations and cleaned. Hurley said they also asked thoughtful questions about the needs of the neighbors that the pantry serves.
Volunteers for Father Bill’s Place, which supports the homeless population, prepared and delivered bagged lunches. Students followed that visit with a trip to the Paul Sullivan House (an offshoot of the Pine Street Inn), where they lent their artistic skills to goody bags for the residents, and enjoyed some time with them.
Here’s a glimpse into the day’s activities: