Annual Thanksgiving food drive has positive results despite challenges

Other service projects planned for the school year to help community


Allyson Jones, Staff Writer

With students being required to complete at least 60 hours before graduation, COVID-19 has presented students in the John Carroll community with an unprecedented and unique situation.

Romero Service Club Member Meghan Kerr said, “This year, it has been much more difficult to hold school-wide service projects due to the pandemic and not being able to participate in on-campus activities; however, the Romero Service Club still meets every other week where Mrs. Strawbridge tells us all about service opportunities outside of JC.”
The most recent service opportunity at John Carroll was the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. With around 1,000 items collected, the donations were able to go to both Bel Air United Methodist and St. Francis De Sales.
Service Coordinator Susan Strawbridge said, “It was a moving experience to see how food donations appeared each day in the back of the minibus which was parked in the oval. Shop Rite of Main Street loaned us a shopping cart, and donations were dropped off in the main lobby. This year we collected around 1,000 items, and in previous years we collected any were from 3,500 to 7,400 items.”
The Romero Service Club and NHS hope to conduct a spring food drive again this year.
“People are not just hungry during the holidays, but the need continues all year long. During this pandemic, communities are seeing people who need food assistance for the first time. People are unemployed and are working at reduced hours; students are missing meals at schools, and families and seniors are quarantined,” Mrs. Strawbridge said.
Students helped by collecting and sorting the food before school started for three days. COVID and virtual learning has put a strain on all extracurriculars, and it puts a strain on the food drive’s final number.
Mrs. Strawbridge commented, “We had hoped to fill the entire bus, but we were fortunate to fill one side of the bus completely. Since the minibus was not being used for sports teams or field trips, we had the use of the bus for the full food drive. Our collection numbers were down from previous years. Students only attended classes for the first three days of the drive. Students missed the advisory competitions, which was fun for this worthy project. Only a few Ramen noodles were donated, which has always been a favorite JC student donation. Noodles increased collection numbers for advisories at a reasonable cost.”
Students also missed the drum line marching through the hallways as they “drummed up business for the Patriot Thanksgiving Food Drive,” Miss Strawbridge said.
Despite COVID-19, service opportunities will still be available throughout the year from online tutoring, working with local churches and Our Daily Bread.
John Carroll students can donate to Merry Ministries by locating the boxes in the main lobby and including items such as socks, toys and personal hygiene products.
Donations for Merry Ministries will be accepted until Friday, December 18.