Record donations for student-run 2020 Thanksgiving Food Drive
Somerville High School's National Honors Society (NHS) members hold an annual Thanksgiving Food Drive that felt particularly urgent this year. “Students were adamant about making sure their fellow classmates and their families felt supported during this holiday,” said Cynthia Massillon, Broadway House Dean of Students. Ms. Massillon and English Teacher Veronica Rowlinson are the staff leaders for the National Honors Society.
The Thanksgiving Food Drive needed to adapt for donors who wanted to participate, but were not able to make it to the physical drop-off site. NHS students solved this by setting up a system for monetary donations through online money transfer applications, in addition to their usual request for non-perishable food items.
Staff, students, and community members donated generously. With the support of Principal Sebastian LaGambina, Barbara Favaloro and other hardworking Main Office staff made sure that food item donations were moved indoors every evening. Ms. Massillon sent an email during the Drive to Somerville High School staff that asked for donations and asked teachers to identify students who needed a meal kit or funds donation. Teachers and school staff are often the community members who link students to critical social services and support.
Through donor generosity, the NHS Thanksgiving Food Drive had the happy problem of finding themselves with extra funds. Students provided food baskets to multiple families in Somerville and delivered food to a local food pantry. Students donated $1300 to the Clarendon and Mystic Housing Authority Toy Drive, an initiative Dean Massillon describes as “close to home for the students.” This is one of many examples of Somerville students, staff, and teachers supporting each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.
R. Ronen, Communications Specialist