By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor
Region – The local youth hockey community banded together, last month, to fight a familiar but pressing problem worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic – hunger.
Organized by the Worcester Railers hockey team, the Hockey Checks Hunger program placed food drop boxes at local arenas like the New England Sports Center in Marlborough and Northstar Ice Sports in Westborough.
“We were more than happy to be part of it,” Northstar Director of Hockey Steve Tepper told the Community Advocate in a recent conversation about the food drive.
Collecting donations starting in mid-March, boxes had filled up by the time staff from the Railers made rounds, March 25, to transport goods to local food pantries.
At Northstar, those staff members happily stuffed bags of donations into a team truck and a separate SUV both already tightly packed with the fruits of previous pickups.
Inside, a youth hockey team held tryouts.
The ice sports industry has been particularly hamstrung by COVID-19 safety restrictions over the last year. Discussing that, Tepper specifically said he wished he could have done even more to help this latest community service effort.
The message remains, though, he said. And he’s proud of that.
“It’s been a challenging year for everyone involved, not just folks that play ice sports,” he told the Community Advocate.