Crusade Against Hunger, a student-led initiative with the goal of alleviating hunger in communities across northeast Connecticut, kicked off their annual food drive leading into the 2021 holiday season.
After COVID-19 prompted the cancellation of last year’s food drive, the event resumed this year with the collection of non-perishable goods to benefit TEEG, a Thompson-based nonprofit organization providing assistance and support to families in the area.
Crusade Against Hunger took shape when a group of students, during a guided activity in Advisory, pinpointed ‘zero hunger’ from among the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as an item that the Marianapolis community could help to address.
Two years later, those students, now seniors, are amazed by the initiative’s growth. Says Ashley Giorgio ‘22, “Little did we know that our small food drive between nine people would turn into a school-wide [effort]. If the Crusade Against Hunger has taught me anything, it is that it just takes one idea to make a lasting impact [...] [We] want to ensure that families are able to gather and celebrate the holidays with their loved ones over a hot meal. Simple donations from a large, committed community, such as Marianapolis, have made, and will continue to make, a positive impact on families experiencing financial difficulties.”
While the annual food drive kicks off during the holiday season, the Crusade Against Hunger is a year-long effort. Noted Giorgio, “Hunger is ever-present, and we are just not aware of it [...] With this initiative, [we] hope to remind people that food drives are necessary during the other nine months of the year to help fulfill the needs of families in our community.”
This year, 413 items were collected and donated. In addition to Giorgio, the drive was conceived, organized, and executed by Hayley O’Connell ‘22, Declan O’Connor ‘22, Valentina Mena ‘22, and Jacob Mobley ‘22. As they wrap up their final year on campus, they “hope to leave a lasting impact on the School community [to ensure] that [their] younger peers will take over where [they] leave off.”