By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – When Shrewsbury High School (SHS) sophomores Aiyi Wang and Morgan Koester found that they had time on their hands after the initial school closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, they teamed up for a good cause.
“With so many families stocking up on food, I couldn’t help but think about how difficult it must be for those who were already low on food, to get enough of it to support their families,” Morgan said.
The pair emailed some teachers to suggest holding a food drive. At about the same time, Sue Dileo, a retired Oak Middle School counselor, contacted SHS Principal Todd Bazydlo to see if there were any students available who may be interested in helping her with a food drive. Together, Dileo and the girls decided that the food collected would go to the food pantry at Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Worcester.
Dileo shared that they have a “beautiful system” for collecting food, in which donations of non-perishable food can be left without getting out of the car.
“We put the boxes outside of our own houses, and then notify people of our progress to let them donate by posting on social media, Schoology, and the community board,” explained Aiyi. “We also notify them that this is weather-permitted and food boxes might not be placed outside if it is raining.”
This project has been a learning experience for both the girls and one that they would definitely do again.
“Helping other people is something I’ve always loved to do,” Aiyi said. “One thing I learned is that the force of two people is not enough to make a huge change to the world as there are still millions of people who are in poverty and hunger, and it is somehow sad that we can only help so many people even when we tried our best.”
“I hope to continue helping the community in the future,” Morgan added. “By doing this project, I have learned that things won’t always go as planned though if you take the time to brainstorm how to get around those obstacles, there will be a solution. I also learned that it doesn’t take a lot of time to make a difference and everything helps. One hour out of my day is nothing compared to the help that this food drive could bring to people in need.”
The drive is still under way, but interested donors should check their Instagram page for updates.