United in Service: Celebrating 25 Years of the Thanksgiving Food Chain

United in Service: Celebrating 25 Years of the Thanksgiving Food Chain


Students, parents, alumni, and faculty celebrated Thanksgiving with the school's annual Thanksgiving Food Chain and Concert. This year marked the 25th year of St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s Thanksgiving food drive, which serves the Broadway Community Food Pantry at Broadway Presbyterian Church, just down the street from the school. 

As is tradition, students from nursery through eighth grade formed a human chain from the school's chapel, out its doors, and down the block to the food pantry, where eighth graders sort and organize a bounty of donations from members of the St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's community. These donations stock the pantry shelves where patrons of the food pantry and soup kitchen can “shop” for food and basic kitchen supplies.

“The influx of people needing our services are not the chronic poor, but our siblings and parents and children, middle class or better until recently, victims of these difficult times,” said Chef Michael Ennes, Broadway Community’s food service director. “We are very grateful for the Food Chain, which primarily supports our numerous Pantry programs, our Four Star Soup Kitchen, as well as our culinary and nutrition education projects. Your generosity keeps our Pantry shelves filled.”  

The Food Chain began in 1993. Virginia Connor, who had just begun as head of school, wanted to make the concept of community service more concrete for St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's young students. Joining forces with neighbors at Broadway Presbyterian, the Food Chain was born.

“Every year, the Food Chain has brought St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s together,” said eighth grader Herbert Toler, who spoke at the concert that followed the Food Chain. “We want to thank you, Ms. Connor, for inspiring us to take action. You have taught more than 3,000 students what it means to serve.”

The Food Chain Concert featured performers from first through eighth grade. The concert's theme was “Dona Nobis Pacem—Giving to others and granting peace,” incorporating the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus.