This February, students at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s have accepted a challenge to support their neighbors at Broadway Presbyterian Church and Ford Hall. The February Food Challenge coincides with the school’s upcoming 100th day of school, and students will aim to collect 100 food items and kitchen supplies per homeroom by Friday, Feb. 16.
The concept of a food drive is not new to St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s students, says Community Service Coordinator Violeta Epstein. “Each year, our students and families generously donate food and supplies for November’s Thanksgiving Food Chain,” she explained. The Food Chain benefits Broadway Community’s various food pantry and nutrition education programs. Donations to the Food Chain stock the pantry shelves where New Yorkers who are homeless, hungry, or simply struggling in a difficult economy can “shop” for food and basic kitchen supplies.
“This bounty used to last throughout the winter,” Ms. Epstein says. “A few years ago, however, we learned that due to increased demand for food in New York City, our donations were running out very early in the year.”
To meet the increased demand, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s began a February Food Challenge to help supplement the food pantries’ offerings. Boxes have been placed outside of each homeroom; students can place their donations of non-perishable food or supplies there. (Canned or boxed foods are ideal.)
“Developing compassion for our neighbors and an awareness of the ways we are privileged is an important part of St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s mission,” said Ms. Epstein. “Our students are already involved with Broadway Presbyterian and Ford Hall through other service and religious knowledge activities, so they have relationships with these organizations and the people they serve. As we have learned from the Thanksgiving Food Chain, a food drive is concrete and tangible. It is an excellent way for early childhood and elementary school-aged children to help those in need.”