By Cindy Zomar, Education Coordinator
Hudson – When the Student Council at Quinn Middle School and the Home & School organization chose to team up for a Winter Food Drive this spring, organizers weren’t sure what to expect.
Middle school families rallied around the cause, however, and the response was noteworthy.
In total, students collected 1,764 items to stock shelves at the COVID Emergency Food Relief Program at the First United Methodist Church on Felton St.
“The students wanted to be a part of this and were very excited,” announced Program Director Stacey Hartford. “It’s a good way for kids to get involved in helping their community.”
Hudson fights food insecurity
The Food Relief Program program is completely supported by area residents, with various town groups collecting donations.
The Fire Department and Police Department have recently gathered items. National Honor Society students from Hudson High and boys from St. John’s also come regularly to help stock the shelves or carry heavy boxes.
“Hudson is a tight-knit community,” Hartford said. “We all look out for each other, not just short term, but long term.
Quinn launches food drive effort
Jennifer Smith met Hartford last year. While dropping off a food donation, Smith asked if Hartford needed help. Hartford asked Smith to come back the following week.
“I’ve been here ever since,” Smith said in recent comments to the Community Advocate.
She then elaborated on the origin of this partnership with Quinn.
“I had this idea for a school food drive in my back pocket for a while,” she said. “But supplies ebb and flow as situations with families change.”
Through those ebbs and flows, the holidays came and went. Then, Smith thought the time was right to ask the Quinn Student Council for help.
Smith quickly learned from faculty members Victoria Corderio and Heidi Bowen that the Council was, in fact, looking for a project.
“We collected food for four weeks,” she said.
Donated food now goes to individuals in need
Quinn delivered a truckload of food to the Methodist Church.
With supplies like that in hand, the church packages hot meals and often delivers food to senior housing facilities. Through this program, organizers hope, families affected by COVID-19 through a temporary work loss or a need to quarantine, or even the inability to shop themselves, will not face food insecurity.
“Our goal is to help people find long term resources to obtain food, particularly fresh vegetables and fruits,” Smith said. “We want to make sure that everyone has food who needs it.”