By: Bella Paul, Youth Leader, Groton Neighborhood Food Project
Previously published in the Groton Herald
The Groton Neighborhood Food Project (GNFP) is a non-profit organization that helps families in need in our community and surrounding towns. They help by providing families with food and other grocery items via neighborhood collections and donations. Recently, on Friday, October 11th, 2019, students and staff at Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School partnered with the GNFP for a school-wide food collection on their first spirit day of the year. The Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School Principal, Kathleen McCollumn and the Student Council sponsored this event. Students and staff were encouraged to bring in a food item in exchange for their spirit day “ticket”- dressing down for the day! The GNFP youth volunteers (from grades 5 and 8) along with parent and GNFP volunteers manned three doorways at the start of the school day. The volunteers collected food as students and staff entered both the North and South buildings. The food donations were then sorted into pantry boxes.
The GNFP youth volunteers collected over 740 pounds of food at this event, which filled 22 boxes! What a morning and what a donation to the food pantry!
According to the GNFP website, “If you’re standing in a line somewhere in town, one of the eight people around you probably hasn’t had enough to eat. And if your child is in a class of 28 people, 7 of their classmates may not be sure where their next meal is coming from.” Loaves & Fishes (L&F) in Devens helps families in need by giving them vouchers for food and other pantry items every two weeks. Every two months, neighborhood coordinators go through their neighborhoods to collect green bags that families fill with pantry items. All of the food collected by the GNFP is delivered to L&F and volunteers from the pantry organize all of the generous donations made by families in our community.
If you would like to learn more about the GNFP or if you are interested in becoming a neighborhood coordinator, please go to https://grotonfoodproject.com/. Our next collection is on Saturday, December 14th, 2019.
A special thank you to Bobbie Spiegelman, Judy McDermott and Gina Ryan of the GNFP, Principal McCollumn, and Middle School teacher, Jessica Columbus (Student Council leader) for their assistance with this event. We look forward to our continued partnership in the future!